Independent public service media (PSM) is the cornerstone of a democratic society, providing citizens with a reliable and trustworthy source of information and a public forum where different views can be expressed. However politicians have a huge interest in getting visibility and support from the media and in limiting the impact of critical voices. How far they go in exercising influence on the media in general - and PSM in particular - may depend on their personal integrity and the general political culture. But it will certainly also depend on the safeguards for independence which are built into the governance system.
This publication is based on a presentation given at the Public Service Media and Democracy conference. In this article, Dr Michael Wagner of the EBU's Legal Department gives his personal views on this subject.