Rethinking Public Service Media and Citizenship: Digital Strategies for News and Current Affairs at Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service

Terry Flew


This article considers the concept of media citizenship in relation to the digital strategies of the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS). At SBS, Australia’s multicultural public broadcaster, there is a critical appraisal of its strategies to harness user-created content (UCC) and social media to promote greater audience participation through its news and current affairs Web sites. The article looks at the opportunities and challenges that user-related content presents for public service media organizations as they consolidate multiplatform service delivery. Also analyzed are the implications of radio and television broadcasters’ moves to develop online services. It is proposed that case study methodologies enable an understanding of media citizenship to be developed that maintains a focus on the interaction between delivery technologies, organizational structures and cultures, and program content that is essential for understanding the changing focus of 21st-century public service media.

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