The current article analyzes the difficulties faced by public service media in the current political, economic and multimedia context. It proceeds with an examination of the main financing methods used by public service media and of the most recent reforms at the European level. The last part of this article describes a potential “scenario” of reforming public service media license fee model through the dynamics of civic crowdfunding, allowing citizens to decide in which programs they may invest a (20%) quota. The scenario we have built is framed in the direction of a “digitally enabled collaborative economy” (Kostakis and Bauwens, 2014), where citizens can experiment with a form of participation in media that is no longer “content-related” but “structural” (Carpentier, 2011). In order to prove the value of this hypothesis, the model has been tested on 649 Italian citizens. This test demonstrated that, although 83% of the survey sample believe the current cost of the Italian license fee is too high, 70% of them would be willing to pay even more if they could be in control of a part of the license fee and decide where to invest it. Therefore, we have shown that our sample of Italian citizens and Internet users is favorably disposed toward forms of more structural participation in the decision-making processes of public service media and in the co-management of public service media budgets. The aim of the current article is to demonstrate the potential value of audience’ structural participation in reshaping the role of public service media in contemporary digital cultures and networked societies.
- public service