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Public Service Broadcasting

Public service broadcasting (PSB) has emerged in three distinct waves: paternalistic (as in the UK, Canada, Australia, and elsewhere in the 1920s and 1930s); democratic and emancipatory (as in some Western European countries in the 1970s, when state [government] control of monopoly broadcasters could no longer be justified and they were transformed into autonomous PSB organizations); and systemic (as in West Germany after World War II, Spain, Portugal, and Greece in the 1970s, and in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989, when transition to democracy after an authoritarian or totalitarian system prompted corresponding change in the media).

Most European PSB organizations were originally created as public monopolies. Elsewhere, they emerged in the context of a mixed, public/commercial system. In special cases (as in the United ...

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