What is the difference between public service broadcasting and the role of funding in PSB?
The important difference between public service broadcasting and the role of funding in PSB is of great concern to organizations like UNESCO and the EBU, governments, and society at large, as PSB’s have marshaled socio-cultural debates and shaped political direction since their inception. Not only that, when public service broadcasters are funded by a corporation or state, they become subject to their agenda, prejudice, and megrim, which compromises their independence to work effectively in the public’s interests. The greatest example of this was Greece’s potentially illegal closure of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT) in 2013, the country’s only PSB. With the rise of the far-right in Greece and corruption at various levels in government, the closure of ERT to appease their bailout deal abandoned the country without a voice and anyone to hold the government accountable. Furthermore, this left the country reliant on private media corporations for news, information, and entertainment. As evidenced in America, when the majority of news outlets left are commercial enterprises, the result is an increase in prejudiced and dogmatic media personalities, notably Fox News. In the UK, Sky News is restrained from becoming an objectionable version of its sister company, Fox, precisely because of the regulation in place and the existence BBC News 24, a strong publicly funded broadcaster. The danger of closing down a PSB in Greece’s political climate is that by doing so, it is an attack on Free Speech.