Past, present and future of Public Service Broadcasting in Germany
(University of Cologne, Germany)
ABSTRACT: Based on the dimensions of state interference proposed by Blumler and Gurevitch (1995), this paper follows their approach from an economic perspective. Therefore three alternative ways to provide broadcasting goods (the market, the state and the voluntary sector) are introduced. Next a historical overview of the German public service broadcasting is provided. Main legal provisions are described in theoretical remarks with focus on constitution of supervisory bodies of pub- lic service broadcasters. Ways and cases of political interventions are discussed there. The funding of public service broadcasters is depicted. Some recent developments are presented, related to the so-called “three step test” for new or changed online offerings of public service broadcasters. The German public service broadcasting sector is evaluated and visualized by means of the paradigm. Although different possibilities of state influence exist, German public service broadcasting can be characterized all in all as rather state-distant. New challenges arise, however, from the transformation process in public service media.