Edition DW Akademie: Analyzing the transformation of state broadcasters

Bonn, (PresseBox) - "In the Service of the Public," a new study released by DW Akademie, examines the transformation of state broadcasters into independent media in various countries, including those in Moldova, Mongolia and Myanmar.

Determining whether the transformation of a government broadcaster into an independent media organization has been successful or not can be a challenge. It's also often unclear whether public service media are the only ones capable of carrying out their public responsibility, or whether private and community media can also take on this role.

The series Edition DW Akademie has just published "In the Service of the Public – Functions and Transformation of Media in Developing Countries," a study offering recommendations for future projects involved in transforming state media. The authors take a closer look at broadcasters in twelve countries: Afghanistan, Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Moldova, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria and Serbia.

As Germany's leading organization for international media development, DW Akademie has been accompanying the transformation of state broadcasters in developing countries for many years.

"Supporting reforms like these is not always easy," says Director of DW Akademie Christian Gramsch, pointing out that "transformation processes can come to a halt. As a media development organization we often have to look at alternative approaches to take." The new comparative study is an important orientation guide for DW Akademie's worldwide activities, says Gramsch.

"Transformations are possible"

The publication takes a critical look at the stakeholders involved in each transformation process and the extent to which they have contributed to its success or failure. There's a special focus on analyzing approaches taken by media development organizations.

"One of the study's major findings is that transformations are possible under certain conditions," says Petra Berner, head of DW Akademie's Strategy and Consulting Division, and co-editor of the publication. However, she points out that transformations require a long-term strategy supported by all stakeholders involved in the process: political elites, management and employees of media outlets, civil society groups and the general public.

The authors stress that greater efforts are needed to create the political and legal frameworks conducive to effectively developing public service media, and that improvements are required for implementing the reforms in the media outlets themselves. "Media development organizations have often failed to recognize the role of organizational development, and that restructuring broadcasters is a long term-process," says Berner.

Edition DW Akademie is a new publication series focusing on the areas of media development, media policy and journalism.

Edition DW Akademie #2/2104

In the Service of the Public – Functions and Transformation of Media in Developing Countries

Editors: Jan Lublinski, Merjam Wakili, Petra Berner
Bonn 2014, 300 pages
Funded by Germany's Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ)

DW Akademie

DW Akademie is Germany's leading organization for international media development. Our experts have been supporting the development of free and transparent media systems, quality journalism and advanced media skills since 1965. We help rebuild media in post-crisis and post-conflict environments and contribute internationally to the professional training of media workers. We also offer intercultural and professional media training workshops in our centers in Bonn and Berlin, as well as traineeships for up-and-coming DW journalists. In 2009 DW Akademie established the "International Media Studies" Master's program which combines the areas of media development, media management, journalism and communications.

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