As the BBC faces a government review that could alter its future, Britain’s The Guardian newspaper looks at the status of public service broadcasters in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the U.S.
There’s plenty to report. France’s government cut public funding to its broadcasters last year; public radio went off the air for 28 days when staff walked out in protest. Italy’s state-controlled broadcaster, Rai, is undergoing “a top-to-bottom reform.” In the Netherlands, 21 broadcaster organizations are being reduced to eight, which will pool their resources to become one network. German public broadcasting fees are being criticized for “being among the highest in the world despite public stations carrying ads.”
As for public television in the United States, “Americans seeking to produce work with financial requirements beyond the scope of their public funds often have to get out the begging bowl.”