Public Service Media and Digital Innovation: The Small Nation Experience

Ruth McElroy, Caitriona Noonan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This paper examines responses of select Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs) in small nations to the digital economy. Along with responding to changes driven by technology, television professionals in small nations negotiate a number of competing demands including sustaining linguistic vitality and cultural diversity, while also needing to retain political support for public funding, sustaining viewing figures, supporting indigenous production and competing in international markets.

Using in-depth interviews with television professionals and reflections from a series of industry-academic workshops conducted in Wales and Denmark in 2015/16 (, we explore the impact of digital change on the sustainability of public service media in small nations. Particular attention is given to 1) new practices and opportunities afforded by distribution platforms and social media; 2) the challenges faced by smaller broadcasters in accessing digital talents and negotiating rights with suppliers to secure content across platforms; and 3) the effectiveness of policy in facilitating access in a networked society. Throughout our concern is to consider how power is exercised within the contemporary television ecology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRIPE@2017 Reader
Subtitle of host publicationPublic Service Media in the Networked Society
Place of PublicationOslo
ISBN (Electronic)978-91-87957-73-4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018

Publication series



  • public service broadcasting
  • minority-language media
  • digital innovation
  • S4C (sianel pedwar cymru)
  • TG4
  • network society


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