Questioning Public Service Media in Egypt and Spain

Mercedes Medina, Rasha Allam


This article examines the legitimacy of public service broadcasting (PSB) in Spain and Egypt, considering recent developments. Despite differing political and social contexts, both are considered to be politically transitional countries. The theoretical framework of this study is based on UNESCO’s principles of universalism, diversity, independence, and distinctiveness. Data were gathered from internal and external media industry reports. The findings reveal that the expansion of PSB’s public role is being challenged in political discourse and public policy, while public funding aims to promote universality, innovation, and diversity. However, political interference in the appointment of board members hampers independence in both cases. The article recommends the establishment of impartial commissions to safeguard media independence and adequate budgetary support to enable these organizations to compete in terms of technology and meet user demands. Research limitations include a lack of audience data in Egypt, which hinders direct comparisons. Nevertheless, the framework and indicators proposed can inform future studies on the legitimization of public service media.


public service broadcasting, public service media remit, UNESCO, performance indicators, Egypt, Spain

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