Rethinking the Role of Public Service Broadcasting in Taiwan in the Digital Age
thesisposted on 2011-05-31, 12:48 authored by Chih-Jung Fan
This thesis reports a study of the role of public service broadcasting with special attention given to the impact of the advent of digital television in Taiwan. The emergence of digital television has brought significant changes in the television landscape and is seen as a challenge to public service broadcasting. This thesis focuses on how the introduction of digital television influences public service broadcasting. Data were collected from a range of documents produced by government and public broadcasters’ reports as well as articles by journalists, academic writers and a number of other sources. Further data were obtained via in-depth interviews with nine expert informants who are the key actors in public service broadcasting or digital television fields in Taiwan. The main findings are discussed in three parts. First, the concept of public service broadcasting is dynamic, which can change over time and be interpreted in different ways in different contexts. Second, the impact of the introduction of digital television on public service broadcasting is examined from four aspects:  Organisational issues;  Financial issues;  Programming issues;  Regulatory issues. Although it is recognised that the arrival of digital television has influenced on public service broadcasting, the impact in Taiwan is not as strong as in Western Europe. In addition, the introduction of digital television is seen as an opportunity for the reinforcement of public service broadcasting. Third, the changes in public service broadcasting can be discussed from three aspects:  Institutional aspects;  Positions in the market;  Roles in society. A significant change is that the public broadcasters have expanded in terms of the increase in channels. However, the limited funding and uncertain policy present major problems for the public broadcasters. In conclusion, the government plays a vital role in the development of public service broadcasting in Taiwan.