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Public Service Media Has a Positive and Beneficial Impact on Society Says EBU

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Photo: Clodagh’s story, keepmediagood.ie

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) has launched a new campaign called Keep Media Good, which demonstrates the positive impact public service media (PSM) has on societies.

This is the first time PSM organisations across Europe, including RTÉ and TG4 in Ireland, have come together with one unified voice to champion PSM in the face of a proliferation of fake news, political imbalances, disputes over funding and the rise of online streaming giants. These combined trends distract from the fact that PSM is one of society’s most valuable assets.

Keep Media Good shows how PSM exists to inform, inspire, engage and innovate. The campaign aims to do that through a selection of audience stories depicting how lives have been transformed through public service media. It is reinforced by the EBU’s research that shows a correlation between countries that have access to good public service media and countries that have stronger democracies.

Watch the campaign: www.keepmediagood.ie

According to Noel Curran, director general of EBU and the former director general of RTÉ: “It is vitally important that people are reminded of the critical role public service media plays in society and everyday life. Public Service Media organisations are the biggest investors in European audiovisual production, European journalism and European audiovisual culture. They impact positively on peoples’ lives every day across the whole Continent. That is why we’ve launched the Keep Media Good campaign. Keep Media Good also shows how PSM has inspired people to follow their dreams. From France, to Portugal and Slovenia, members of the public have come together to share the impact PSM has had on their own lives. Whether a Paralympic athlete who was inspired to compete after watching the sport on television or people who have dedicated their lives to helping refugees having heard news reports on the crisis, I am proud we have been able to take these stories to audiences across Europe.”

“This campaign comes at a time when the value of strong, impartial, verifiable and trustworthy news services being delivered by Public Service Media is being challenged by an unprecedented volume and variety of sources, voices and opinions across a range of platforms. It is vital that we take every opportunity to highlight the importance to democracy of quality and objective news and news analysis which reflects key issues and asks essential questions on behalf of the public on a daily basis.  This timely campaign will help do just that,” adds Dee Forbes, Director-General, RTÉ.

The EBU’s research shows how public service media enhances our daily lives and society as a whole including how:

  • Vital societal indicators such as freedom of the press and low levels of corruption are statistically linked to the performance of PSM in each country.
  • PSM is a major employer – in the 56 nations that belong to the EBU, more than 250,000 people are directly employed in PSM work.
  • PSM sets an example in women’s leadership. Across all member nations, 22% of PSM leaders are women compared to only 3.4% of leaders in the general business community in the EU.

EBU data shows that public service media is a critical component to broadcast production in markets around Europe:

  • PSM organisations are the highest spenders on original content in 13 of the main 15 European countries, and contribute far more to the support of independent production than commercial companies.
  • PSM organisations spend 2.6x more on content than Amazon and Netflix combined worldwide.
  • Almost two-thirds of programming shown by EBU Members is original content and 87% of it is made in the country itself or in an EU 28 nation.

The data further demonstrates that:

  • Of movies shown on television in EBU Member states, 45% of those broadcast by PSM are European-made compared with only 21% of those shown on commercial free-to-air channels, underpinning PSM’s position as a champion of the European production and film industries.
  • Drama production is similarly supported far more by the publicly-owned channels: across the area, 64% of drama shown by PSM is home-grown (domestic or EU-produced) compared with only a third of drama shown on commercial channels.

To find out more about the Keep Media Good campaign visit www.keepmediagood.ie.