Up in the Air?
The Future of Public Service Media in the Western Balkans
The agenda for transition after the demise of communism in the Western Balkans made the conversion of state radio and television into public service broadcasters a priority, converting mouthpieces of the regime into public forums in which various interests and standpoints could be shared and deliberated. There is general agreement that this endeavor has not been a success. Formally, the countries adopted the legal and institutional requirements of public service media according to European standards. The ruling political elites, however, retained their control over the public media by various means.
Can this trend be reversed? Instead of being marginalized or totally manipulated, can public service media become vehicles of genuine democratization?
A comparison of public media services in seven countries (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) addresses these important questions.
About the Authors
Tarik Jusić is Lecturer and Guarantor of the study program at the School of Communication and Media, University of New York in Prague, Czech Republic.
Manuel Puppis is Professor at the Department of Communication and Media Research (DCM), University of Fribourg, Switzerland.
Laia Castro is Senior Researcher and Teaching Associate at the Department of Communication and Media Research, University of Zurich, Switzerland, and Lecturer at Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona.
Davor Marko is Balkans program manager at Thomson Foundation in Belgrade, Serbia, and research fellow at the Centre for Media, Data and Society, Central European University.
"A timely, comprehensive and perceptive collection surveying key developments in a most delicate and significant European region. Well-crafted chapters document heroic achievements, thwarted aspirations, technological transformations and enduring struggles in forging national identities: the Western Balkans become a theater for exploring the difficult future and role of public service media in complex information ecologies."—Monroe Price
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