Public service broadcasting debated in Croatia with UNESCO's support
The core issues of the roles, functions and values of public service broadcasters were discussed during the round table in Zagreb, Croatia, on 12 March 2010. The event was organized by the Centre for Media and Communication Research (CIM), at the University of Zagreb, with UNESCO's support.
The debate focused on the challenges and the future of public service broadcasting (PSB) in Croatia, where the media controlled by the state is undergoing a process of transformation. The current internal reorganization of the Croatian public television, HRT, has to take into account the impact of new media and the enhancement of the role of public radio and television in today's society. The legal definition of the HRT role, its financing and management, are to be modified according to a new legislative proposal, which was discussed at the round table.
Boris Bergant, expert in PSB and Director of the South East Europe Media Organization (SEEMO) Board, led the discussions about the different European models of PSB funding. He suggested maintaining the formula of mixed financing, comprising license fees and incomes from advertisement. According to him, such diversified formula should provide the Croatian public service broadcasting with more independence.
The editorial independence and professionalism of the public media in the era of technological changes were also on the agenda of the round table, which was attended by academics, managers and editors of public and commercial televisions, journalists, media professionals, policy makers as well as the members of the working group on the new PSB law. Participants discussed the media commercialisation, its management and control, and the influence of the civil society. They paid a particular attention to the issues of the public interest, digitalisation, European subsidies, programmes' diversity and gender.
The round table in Zagreb was a follow-up to the project entitled "Monitoring Media Development: Implementation of UNESCO Media Development Indicators" carried out by the Centre for Media and Communication Research of the University of Zagreb with UNESCO's support. A comprehensive analysis of Croatia's media landscape had previously been undertaken under this project. Its results had been presented in a <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=29157&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">conference</a> last year that also had discussed the application of <a href="ev.php?URL_ID=26032&URL_DO=DO_TOPIC&URL_SECTION=201">UNESCO's Media Development Indicators</a>.