The Council of Europe's Media Division made public last February 10 a report on "Public Service Media in the Information Society" prepared for the Council of Europe's Group of Specialists on Public Service Broadcasting in the Information Society (MC-S-PSB) by Christian S. Nissen.
According to this report, we are currently witnessing what is the beginning of a new era, which in coming years will revolutionize the whole media business and completely change public and private communication in all European societies: the emergence and impact of new digital technology as the cornerstone of the new information society needs to be stressed.
Moreover, the report underlines that “going digital” is much more than just replacing analogue production and distribution technology with digital equivalents. Going digital will alter the workflows of programme production and require new competencies of staff. It will open up a whole range of new media services to the public. Digital technology has the potential of bringing new freedom of choice to individual members of the audience.
However, as indicated in the report, digital will also give rise to a renewed debate on media concentration and the whole idea of public media serving society, not to mention even more fundamental changes in the way we look upon ourselves as citizens as being something different and distinct from being consumers.
These issues and developments underpinned the decision of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (CDMC) of the Council of Europe to set up this report which main purpose is to describe some of the key developments and trends in media, and to address the long list of challenging and often controversial issues confronting Public Service Broadcasting in coming years.