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Does Public Service Media have a future?

What do you think: Does PSM have a future? In this article, we discuss the relevance and future of PSM media organisations. Let's explore.

The changing media landscape has brought with it many opportunities as well as challenges for public media.

While some PSM (Public Service Media) organisations struggle to make the transition from analogue to digital platforms and become overshadowed by social media and streaming services, others are adapting to these challenges by providing multi-platform content to reach audiences like never before.

Is PSM still relevant?

From collaborative projects and innovations to engaging with audiences and making concerted efforts to target young people in their services and programming, public media organisations are continuously trying to find ways to remain relevant and provide value for all who pay for them.

But while many public media organisations are indeed adapting to keep pace with their audiences, the big question is: are they still relevant?


Public Television Service (PTS) in Taiwan has developed a citizen journalism initiative called PeoPo, which allows citizens to produce their own multimedia news reports and interact with other users.

Some content is then rebroadcast as part of PTS’ primetime news content.


More recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has offered more opportunities for audience engagement, with audiences getting involved in shaping the future of public media by sharing ideas about new programming as well as sharing their own content.

Collaborations and co-productions

There has also been a steady rise in public media collaborations and co-productions. One example is Nordvision, a cooperative consisting of five Nordic PSM partners.

Meanwhile, public media organisations like CBC/Radio-Canada have been partnering with and utilising social media platforms to expand their reach and to help counter misinformation.

But while many public media organisations are indeed adapting to keep pace with their audiences, the big question is: are they still relevant? Let us know in the final task below.

Additional readings:

A world without public service media would be a darker place (Catherine Tait in The Financial Times, 2020)

Best of PSM: Collaborate or die? (PMA, September 2020)

Insight – Why Public Media Will Not Survive Without Real Citizen Participation (PMA/Marius Dragomir, July 2020)

The Future of Public Service Media (Ofcom, July 2019)

Take your learning further

In this episode of ABC Radio National’s ‘Future Tense’ podcast, the Public Media Alliance’s CEO, Sally-Ann Wilson, and Editorial Manager, Kristian Porter, join a panel of academics to explore the essential societal role of public media, its future and the challenges they face.

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