Interrogating Public Service Media
The concept and practice of public service media is under tremendous pressure and is heavily contested. On one hand it is still perceived in some quarters as the genuine, reliable and authoritative format of dealing with news and information based on the traditional principles of broadcasting and media. This is where the majority population can access news and information that is unadulterated and which allows for debate, knowledge and engagement (Lunt 2009).
On the other hand, there are arguments about public service media being old school and unachievable because of emphasizing traditional principles that are hard to sustain. These principles are said to be losing ground given the changed (and ever-changing) media terrain due to advanced and newer technologies which allow for more coverage, faster and wider distribution and more voices of expression.
public service media is also under the test of pressure and competition from private/commercial interests and market forces as well as the propagation of participatory TV genres like talk shows, reality TV and lifestyle TV (ibid). These pressures are fueling the debate about the place and justification of public service media today and the relevance of its core values.
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