CfP: Conference and Specialist Panel on Public Service Broadcasting

The Television Studies Section of ECREA and the Department of Theatre, Film and Television at the University of York is organizing a conference on The Place of Public Service Broadcasting: Transnationalism, Localism and Identity in the Digital Age. The conference will take place at the University of York 4 July 2013 and contributions are welcome.

The concept of public service has been a central element of broadcasting culture in most national contexts for as long as broadcasting has existed.  Yet current trends in media technology, governance and ownership present challenges to long-standing notions of the role of public service broadcasting.

What will be the role of public service broadcasting in a media culture increasingly characterised by commercial narrowcasting and consumer-driven microcasting?  How might the national character of public service broadcasting be complicated by trends towards localism, devolution and regional independence?  How can public service broadcasters reconcile their place in specific national cultures with their increasing need to compete in an international television market?

This conference will examine the rapidly changing nexus of concerns around the role of public service broadcasting in an era marked by the advent of digital distribution, the expansion of bandwidth and, arguably, the diminishing importance of the national as a locus of identity for broadcasting.

The organizers welcome submissions touching on any aspect of contemporary public service broadcasting, but are particularly keen to explore:

  • PSB in different national contexts
  • PSB and inter-, intra-national and diasporic cultures
  • PSB in relation to discourses of identity
  • PSB in relation to the globalisation of television production and distribution
  • PSB in relation to the movement for local broadcasting

Please submit 300 word abstracts for 20 minute papers to Martin Zeller-Jacques (marty.zeller-jacques [at] or Hannah Andrews (hannah.andrews [at] before midnight on the 1st of March, 2013.


There will also be a specialist panel in conjunction with the conference on Public Service Broadcasting and the Online Sphere. For this panel, the ECREA Television Studies Section is especially interested in proposals that address the issue of public service broadcasting and its online presences. Topics that might be addressed can include

  • how public service broadcasting uses the online sphere to engage new audiences
  • how the online space is used to engage audiences in public debate
  • the role of branded online spaces
  • importance of social media to public service broadcasters

Papers that are accepted will automatically be considered for publication in Critical Studies in Television. Proposals for this particular panel should be sent to Elke Weissmann (elke.weissmann [at] by the 9th March.

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