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Communication and Information Activities

Public Service Broadcasting

Public Service Broadcasting

UNESCO's Action
  • Research and publications

  • Advocacy and sensitisation

    - International conferences

    - International institutions

    - International instruments

    - Mobilizing citizens'participation

  • Standard setting

  • Research and publications

    An international debate and reflection on the above issues have been stimulated and disseminated worldwide through numerous UNESCO publications, such as:

    1. 'ABC in Public Service Broadcasting: Principles, Global Trends and Best Practices', currently in writing to be released by 2005;

    2. 'Public Service Broadcasting: A Comparative Legal Study" UNESCO/Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development), 2000;

    3. 'Public Broadcasting: Why? How'?' UNESCO/World Radio and Television Council, 2001.

  • Advocacy and sensitisation

    UNESCO has advocated for the concept of public service broadcasting through different mechanisms:

    International conferences gathering top-level representatives of broadcasting institutions, governments and public organs, were organized to put on the international community's agenda issues such as the importance of editorially independent public service television and freedom of expression (Rabat Declaration); the educational and cultural mission of the media (AITED Manifesto); the need to invest in and broadcast endogenous programmes; the concept of "cultural exception" and the importance of finding new alternatives in order to preserve cultural products from a merely commercial logic.

    You will find below a summary of the most important conferences organized, or supported, by UNESCO.

    1. Thematic debate "Political, Technological, and Economic Challenges to Public Service Broadcasting" in the framework of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for the Development of Communication (YEAR….);

    2. Conference of Latin American national broadcasters at UNESCO Headquarters, in March 2000 (organized by Radio France International, RFI);

    3. International seminar "Challenges for Public Broadcasting in Africa" (Rabat, Morocco, May 2000) in cooperation with the World Radio and Television Council (WRTVC). The participants adopted the "Rabat Declaration";

    4. Seminar on legal, financial and administrative aspects of Public Service Broadcasting in SAARC sub region (June 2000);

    5. Workshop on "Citizen Participation in Broadcasting", London, UK, 5 June 2001, organised by Voice of the Listener & Viewer (VLV) with support from the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA), UNESCO and the Freedom Forum;

    6. International seminar "Ten Years On: Assessment, Challenges and Prospects", 3- 5 May 2001, Windhoek, Namibia, where an African Charter on broadcasting has been approved.

    7. International Workshop "Legislation in the Field of Broadcasting - Public Service and Commercial Broadcasters", Bled, Slovenia, 11-12 May 2001 ;

    8. International seminar on elaborating audiovisual laws, organized by UNESCO, ITU and URTNA in Dakar, 28 - 30 June 2001;

    9. First Caribbean Regional Seminar on Challenges to Broadcasting (Barbados, YEAR….).

    International institutions, such as the World Radio and Television Council, the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) and International Radio and Television University (URTI); were set up by UNESCO in the past with the objective of stimulating international reflection and professional cooperation in the field of broadcasting.

    International instruments, such as the Rabat Declaration and the Manifesto for Educational and Cultural Television have been elaborated and disseminated in order to influence decision-makers and to promote internationally recognised principles in the field.

    Mobilizing citizens' participation in broadcasting: UNESCO joined Voice of the Listener and Viewer (VLV), the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association (CBA), and the Freedom Forum to promote citizen participation in broadcasting through a constructive dialogue between civil society institutions and individual citizens and broadcasters, and improving the governance of broadcasting institutions in different societies with a recognition of their public interest role and a willingness to co-operate through a more open, consultative approach to broadcasting policy.

  • Standard setting

    UNESCO joined EBU and ITU to develop a model law for public service broadcasting and to promote it in different regions of the world. The model law includes a number of
    fundamental principles, which are universally recognized, and sets out the legal basis for a truly independent public service broadcasting system. The model law has been debated by the professional community in Africa and Asia and remains an important reference.
  • Chief of Section