Spry Memorial Lecture 2007

Introduction of Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) into post-Communist countries must be considered against the background of the development and evolution of PSB in general. What are the prospects for its development into truly independent media organizations genuinely dedicated to public service and the public interest?

The framework of analysis will be based on Huntington’s concept of “waves of democratization”, Hallin and Mancini’s analysis of media systems and Linz and Stepan’s analysis of the consolidation of democracy. To assess progress in developing PSB in post-Communist countries, reference will be made to the situation in the Mediterranean countries where, according to Hallin and Mancini, the “polarized pluralist” media system has developed, based on “political clientelism”, with an “umbilical cord” linking the media and political elites.

This will be followed by an examination of political system development in post-Communist countries, its impact on media policy orientations adopted in these countries, and what this has meant for the transformation of state into public broadcasting. The process has been fraught with difficulties, given that introduction of PSB was part of a “mimetic media policy orientation” and has involved transplantation of legal and institutional structures of PSB into social contexts which failed to provide an enabling environment for them.

The lecture will conclude with an examination of the situation of PSB in Poland, one of the “leaders” of the transition period, which has nevertheless experienced many of the same problems as other countries and could be treated as a case study, illustrating all the issues typical also of other post-Communist countries.

Dr. Karol Jakubowicz

Karol Jakubowicz is an international expert in broadcasting. He is a member of the Independent Media Commission in Kosovo and of the Intergovernmental Council of the UNESCO ‘’Information for All’’ Programme and heads Working Group 2 of the COST A30 ACTION “East of West: Setting a New Central and Eastern European Media Research Agenda” of the European Science Foundation.

He holds a Ph.D. degree in Sociology of Mass Communications, University of Warsaw, Poland. He has worked as a journalist and executive in the Polish press, radio and television for many years. He has been Vice-President, Polish Radio and Television; Chairman, Supervisory Board, Polish Television; and Head of Strategic Planning and Development at Polish Television. He was Director, Strategy and Analysis Department, the National Broadcasting Council of Poland, the broadcasting regulatory authority (2004-2006).

He has taught at the Institute of Journalism, University of Warsaw (1997-2002) and has been Visiting Professor at the Institute of Journalism, University of Dortmund, and at the Amsterdam School of Communications Research, University of Amsterdam. His scholarly and other publications have been published widely in Poland and internationally. His most recent publications include Rude Awakening. Social and Media Change in Central and Eastern Europe (2007, Hampton Press, U.S.), and Public Service Broadcasting: The Beginning of the End, or a New Beginning? (WAIP, Poland; in Polish). He is also Corresponding Editor of European Journal of Communication, Media, Culture and Society (London); International Communication Gazette (Amsterdam); Political Communication (U.S.), Javnost/The Public (Slovenia). He helped write the report “Public Service Broadcasting in Europe” which was adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Jan. 27, 2004.

He has also been active in the UNESCO, the Council of Europe and the European Broadcasting Union, in part as Chairman of the Committee of Experts on Media Concentrations and Pluralism; Chairman of the Standing Committee on Transfrontier Television; and Chairman of the Steering Committee on the Media and New Communication Services (2005-2006). He has been a member of the Digital Strategy Group of the European Broadcasting Union and contributed to writing its report “Media with a purpose. Public Service Broadcasting in the Digital Era”.

As a Council of Europe, UNESCO, European Union and OSCE expert, he has taken part in many missions to advise on the development of broadcasting legislation in a number of countries and has written analyses of drafts or existing broadcasting laws in such countries such as Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Kosovo, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia, Ukraine, Italy. He has also been a member of a team of experts which performed monitoring missions for the CoE Secretary General concerning compliance of CoE member States with their commitments in the area of freedom of expression and information.