With the future of the BBC’s funding model under scrutiny, Tom Chivers and Stuart Allan say a broader framework is needed for measuring the value of public service broadcasting.
This discussion paper elaborates the concept of ‘public value’ to inform an evaluative framework for examining public service broadcasting (PSB) in the UK, particularly with respect to emerging debates on the future of policy-making in rapidly evolving media contexts. We begin with a case study of the implementation of public value tests at the BBC from 2004 to the present day, analysing how this strategic concept has encapsulated a varying set of principles, regulatory objectives, political challenges and economic pressures facing the UK’s largest public service broadcaster. Following this, we offer a prospective typology of six values — social, cultural, economic, industrial, representational and civic value — for defining and assessing the public benefits of PSB within a new media ecology. In so doing, we discern various tensions warranting greater attention in forthcoming discussions regarding a renewed policy settlement for the UK’s PSB model...Keep reading on Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre.