Developments in the digital sphere have led to an enormous increase in the mediation capacity and speed of information, the penetration of all areas of society, and an increased attention economy. In the course of time, certain regularities can be observed: Politics follows Technology, Culture follows Commerce. The general challenge that arises is to what extent a Public Service Internet follow the lack of democracy in digital times due to extended platform economics.
This problem field can no longer be answered in a national or regional context alone and poses challenges for public broadcasters and journalists in particular.
In the following presentation, several levels are considered from a methodological point of view and interrelationships are examined. It focuses on the related challenges of public service media in the digital environment in the form of a multi-level analysis.
Three problem areas can be identified:
– at the European level: areas of tension between culture and commerce or between the perception of democratic principles versus the platform economy,
– at the respective intermediary or organizational level: between quality journalism or public mandate and a platform economy oriented towards commerce, and
– at the level of the individual between information search, production and overload.
The focus is on the following questions:
1) What support in the form of accompanying legislation exists at the supranational, European level (especially relevant regulations/directives: Charter of European Fundamental Rights, Digital Markets and Services Act).
2) How can quality media / public broadcasting and journalists live up to their mandated principles of quality journalism at the intermediary (organizational) level? (Keywords: basic principles of journalism, gatekeeper roles, fifth estate).
3) How do media consumers, especially the younger target group, deal with these challenges on an individual level? (Excessive demands or targeted selection by other means?)