Public Service Media and the Internet: Two Decades in Review

Alessandro D'Arma, Steven Barclay, Minna Aslama Horowitz


Since the beginning of the 21st century, public service broadcasters (PSBs) have been confronted with the rise of the Internet as a mainstream medium of communication. This has sparked a debate on the transition from PSB to public service media (PSM). In this article, we present a review of the academic literature on PSM and the Internet produced from 2000 to 2021. We focus on contributions interrogating the implications of PSM’s online activities for the delivery of public service values. We identify seven streams of research and show how, as a whole, this body of work has highlighted the main tensions and dilemmas that PSM organizations have faced, given their special nature, when engaging with the technological affordances of the Internet. Researchers have also shown how the delivery of public value can be enhanced via PSM’s online services. Arguing for the continued relevance of PSM, they have reasserted traditional values while also identifying new roles that PSM are called to play in the context of today’s digital communications.


public service broadcasting, public service media, Internet, literature review

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