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Digitalising terrestrial broadcasting - Public policy and public service issues.

Communication, Politics & Culture
Vol. 43, nº2, 99-117
RMIT University (Melbourne - Australia)

This article aims to shed some light on the challenges for public policy resulting from the implementation of Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT). First, it briefly outlines the particularities of the digitalisation of the terrestrial network. The goal is to determine the appropriateness of public policy in a context where neo-liberal ideology and non-interventionist political strategies generally prevail. Secondly, the article explores in which way the values, the objectives, the objects and the instruments of public policy for television are affected by the transformations caused by digitalisation.

Next, the relationship between public service broadcasting (PSB) and digitalisation is analysed. First, this is done by considering PSB as an object affected by digitalisation: the challenges that it must address in the new media scenario are identified. After that, PSB is viewed as an active agent of the migration towards DTT. In that context, its leadership during the switch-over determines its effectiveness as a public policy instrument. The article points out those factors that help to build that leadership.

Keywords: Digitalisation, switch-over, terrestrial television, public policy, public service broadcasting

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