REPORT published on 25 Apr 2018 • Department / Unit Media Intelligence

Public Service Media Contribution to Democracy

A reflection on the democratic value of news and why public service media matters in this regard.

The Public Service Media Contribution to Society Initiative has gone a long way since it started in 2015. Most of us started as neophytes in this area but since then we have managed to build a  community of people interested in rethinking the role of public service media (PSM) in society by putting citizens at the centre of their work.

Together we developed the Contribution to Society mindset, a new approach to understand and make citizens understand how individuals and society as a whole benefit from the activities of PSM. In the last four years, this idea has been embraced by a number of EBU Members, which have adapted it to their needs according to their national and corporate circumstances.

In the last months, EBU Members have started to analyse how PSM contributes to a better democracy. While traditionally this has been operationalized providing reliable and trustworthy news, now based on the PSM Contribution to Society mindset, EBU Members aim to understand the overall impact of their activities, notably news, on democracy.

It is not just about how many people are reached but how those people use PSM's news output and related activities to shape their mind, participate in the public debate and take informed decisions.