Sep 5 2012

What is the value of social media to public service journalism? New research project

Polis/EBU Research Fellow Nadja Hahn

We all know that using social media like Twitter and having online platforms such as blogs can enhance our journalism. But what if you have a particular public service brief, for example, working for a public service broadcaster?

In some media markets such as Austria, public service broadcasters are not allowed to use social media freely. It is seen as unfair competition for private sector media organisations who want to make money online. But is this realistic or desirable in a digital world?

In a new research project, journalist Nadja Hahn will be looking at the regulations that cover the use of social media by public service broadcasters across Europe. She will be asking what benefits there are for PSB journalists when they can use these new channels or networks. She will also be asking the best way to regulate competition in this area.

Nadja is a business correspondent for ORF, the Austrian public service broadcaster and she’ll be coming to Polis, LSE as part of a fellowship supported by the European Broadcasting Union. She’ll be conducting a survey of European PSBs and interviewing a range of UK media people and we’ll hold a research seminar as well.

If you are interested, contact Nadja via

She’s on Twitter as @NadjasNews


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2 Responses to What is the value of social media to public service journalism? New research project

  1. Pingback: What is the value of social media to… « Kind of Digital Exchange

  2. George Nimeh says:

    Hi Nadja,

    This is such a fascinating project.

    Personally, what I find interesting is the relatively unique situation in Austria where the “public service broadcaster” not only receives taxpayer funding but is also allowed to earn money by advertising and marketing. It is this combination of revenue sources which creates a situation where one business in the marketplace has an unfair advantage over other media businesses. I think the main point of the resistance vis-a-vis social media stems not from a desire to limit the ORF in social spheres, but rather as a way of challenging the status quo and eventually forcing the ORF to chose between being taxpayer funded or advertising driven.

    In my opinion, the situation today in which the ORF is allowed to play on both sides of the fence is damaging the competitive media landscape and will thus over time damage the Austrian media industry on the whole as it unfairly competes in the marketplace.

    As someone who is working at one of the other Austrian media businesses, I’m looking forward to reading the results of your work. And as a friend, I wish you all the best and massive success!!!


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