Tara Conlan in The Guardian: “Countries that have popular, well-funded public service broadcasters encounter less rightwing extremism and corruption and have more press freedom, a report from the European Broadcasting Union has found.
For the first time, an analysis has been done of the contribution of public service media, such as the BBC, to democracy and society.
Following Brexit and the rise in rightwing extremism across Europe, the report shows the impact strong publicly funded television and radio has had on voter turnout, control of corruption and press freedom.
The EBU, which founded Eurovision, carried out the study across 25 countries after noticing that the more well-funded a country’s public service outlets were, the less likely the nation was to endure extremism.
The report says that in “countries where public service media funding … is higher there tends to be more press freedom” and where they have a higher market share “there also tends to be a higher voter turnout”. It also says there is a strong correlation between how much of a country’s market its public service broadcaster has and the “demand for rightwing extremism” and “control of corruption”.
“These correlations are especially interesting given the current public debates about low participation in elections, corruption and the rise of far right politics across Europe,” said EBU head of media intelligence service Roberto Suárez Candel, who conducted the research….(More)”