Chapter 12: How Far are National Broadcasting Orders Converging as a Consequence of European Media Law and Policy?
Irini Katsirea* Introduction The European Union policy in the audiovisual sector is guided by the alleged existence of a ‘European audiovisual model’. At the heart of this model lies the recognition that the production and distribution of audiovisual media services are not only economic, but also cultural activities calling for the protection of a range of objectives of general interest: cultural diversity, protection of minors, consumer protection, particularly in the field of advertising, media pluralism, and the fight against racial and religious hatred. It is considered essential, in the interests of the maintenance of these values, that the ‘European audiovisual model’ be founded on ‘a balance between a strong and independent public service sector and a dynamic commercial sector’. This chapter will address the question whether the presumed ‘European audiovisual model’ really exists, whether cultural values still matter in national broadcasting policy despite the fact that technological progress and a general ideological shift across Europe have put regulation for the public interest under strain. If so, the next question to be asked is whether these values are converging and whether they have been furthered or jeopardized by the involvement of the European Union in this area, mainly the Television without Frontiers (TwF) – now Audiovisual Media Services (AVMS) – Directive. This chapter will draw examples from the broadcasting orders of four Member States: France, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.1 By focusing on public broadcasters’ cultural obligations, the principle of separation of advertising from * Middlesex University, UK. For a more comprehensive...
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