Academic journal article Journal for East European Management Studies

Public Broadcasting Crisis as Management Crisis: A Case Study of Radio Television of Vojvodina

Academic journal article Journal for East European Management Studies

Public Broadcasting Crisis as Management Crisis: A Case Study of Radio Television of Vojvodina

Article excerpt

In the context of increasing financial uncertainty for the public service media (PSM) in Serbia, and criticism on its attitudes such as clientelism and political paternalism, the questions of management efficiency of public service broadcasting (PSB) companies and their success in providing quality services are more difficult to answer than ever. The paper analyses the key aspects of the crisis that regional PSB Radio televizija Vojvodine - RTV (Vojvodina Broadcasting Company) has faced since 2005, drawing attention to the lack of strategic performance management over the years. The general framework of the distinguished authors ' ideas on the nature and causes of the crisis of European PSBs is provided by comparing those supporting the survival of the PSBs as the "public good" mediating "public values", with the ones criticising severely the "privileged" market position and "continuous state assistance".

Im Kontext der immer größer werdenden finanziellen Unsicherheit für die öffentlich-rechtlichen Medien in Serbien und der Kritik am Klientelismus und an der politischen Bevormundung, ist es heute schwierig über die Fragen bezüglich Effizienz der Verwaltung des öffentlichen Rundfunks und Erfolg bei der Bereitstellung von qualitativ hochwertigen Diensleistungen zu sprechen. Diese Arbeit analysiert die wichtigsten Aspekte der Krise, die der regionale Radiosender televizija Vojvodina - RTV (öffentlich-rechtlicher Rundfunk Vojvodina) seit 2005 durchlebt, und konzentriert sich auf den Mangel an langfristiger strategischer Unternehmensführung. Den allgemeinen Rahmen bilden die Ideen der Autoren über die Art und Ursachen der Krise im europäischen öffentlich-rechtlichen Rundfunk, im Vergleich der Stimmen, die das Überleben des öffentlichrechtlichen Rundfunks als ein "öffentliches Gut", das die "öffentlichen Werte" vermittelt, ünterstützen, mit jenen, die die "privilegierte" Marktposition und "die kontinuierliche staatliche Unterstüzung" kritisieren.

Keywords: Public service media, crisis, media management, Radio televizija Vojvodine, Republic of Serbia (JEL: HI 2, L82)

1. On the crisis of public media organizations

European PSB companies are large and structurally complex organizations with decades of experience, and approximately all of them went through evolutionary changes - from the stage of monopoly in either market or managed economy, to multichannel, multimedia, convergence and digital switchover (Suter 2005). Public broadcasters are relatively well-resourced and positioned in their target markets, with large audiences and rather firm credibility. However, in the contemporary "new media situation" (Moe/Syvertsen 2007) they have reached "an inflection point" and disrupted traditional balance (BBC 2010) so they should be modernized in many ways not only technologically. Their exceptional institutional history and still défendable political legitimacy can only partly help them justify their economic position, which is regarded as a privilege by the opponents, or assure the public of the importance of social and cultural functions that PSBs perform. Accountability and economic efficiency of PSB companies can only be achieved through socially responsible business strategies stemming from the model of sustainability in dynamically changing societies (Hermida/Ash 2010). But defining this PSB strategy in quickly changing socio-economic environment is unprecedentedly difficult as well; according to Jakubowicz (2006) there is no such strategy, and even if there is, in any of European public media companies, its success is hard to guarantee.

The position of public broadcasting companies in the so called transitional countries is even more complex. Most of them operate on the severely competitive media setting which itself reflects the broader environment, strongly shaped by political clientelism, inadequate regulation, weak institutions and disoriented economy. Hence the crisis of public broadcasting in each particular country experiencing the slow process of transition to market capitalist economy has some specific features, apart from common ones. …

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