Eric Klutenberg talk
Duration: 00:10:13; Aspect Ratio: 1.333:1; Hue: 2.248; Saturation: 0.326; Lightness: 0.111; Volume: 0.164; Cuts per Minute: 0.196; Words per Minute: 127.641
Summary: Eric Klutenberg about the media situation in the Netherlands.
Eric Klutenberg talks about his model that was rejected by the government, but later independently mooted by the Scientific Council for government policy in the Netherlands, who published a report saying that current policies are redundant.
..diverse group of people who are publicly accountable, and they will look at proposals that people have, any kind of group in society, to make public broadcasting, regardless whether it's print, radio, television, internet, satellite, whatever. It's just the quality of the proposal and the relevance to what is going on in society that will determine whether or not such proposal will be accepted and funded. And they said, 'thank you very much' and never showed themselves again. Because this was way too radical as an approach. Even the Green Party, at that point the most, at the same time, progressive and liberal party in the Netherlands could not even think of such a.. a.. a radical intervention into the media landscape. And, so, this seems like ok, the end of the story, but this is rather the beginning of a story, it seems now. Because to my complete surprise, my model has very recently been adopted by nobody else, and ou.. completely outside of my intervention, so some other people thought about it themselves in a similar way, by none other than the Scientific Council for government.. government policy in the Netherlands, the Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid that sound byte, and this is the highest scientific advisory council to the Netherlands government regarding government policy. They published a report quite recently in which they say that the current focus of media policies on existing and fixed media infrastructures like radio, television and so forth is redundant, that there are so many developments in society and in the context of these media that it is no longer useful to think in these terms about public broadcasting functions.
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Eric Klutenberg talks about the core media service values identified, that the government should intervene only in the case of market failure, and also about the government urge to regulate the currently unregulated space of the internet.
Now I will run through a very brief summary of what I said in the report, and then give you the modalities that they see as possible models for future public media services. First of all they say you have to identify core values that should be embodied by these kind of public media services, and the main ones they call the.. they.. indicate are pluriformity, independence and accessibility. So these are very.. in fact things that are very close to the concerns of a digital commons. And then they say the government's strategic position is that it should intervene there where the market fails, so where the market is not able to deliver certain services, that's where the government intervenes. And, it's very obvious that a lot of public services cannot be or will not be delivered by the market because it simply not economically interesting to do so. And then they of course say regulation is very mu.. way too much tied to specific media forms and infrastructure, and they observe that there is technological convergence which means that because everything becomes digital, the production of print, radio, television, internet and everything else, there is a technological convergence which leads to the emergence of also converged media formats in terms of content, things that are happening both on the internet, on mobile phones, on television, on radio, and in many other places. And what is important about this is that the current media regulation does not control a lot of this space at all, there is no regulation. So while the television space is highly controlled and highly regulated, there is virtually no regulation at all for internet broadcasting. So if you set up an advanced streaming infrastructure in the Netherlands you can do it without any kind of permits. Meanwhile the penetration of this kind of broadband technologies is already at somewhere near sixty-seventy percent of the population who have regular access to these kind of facilities. So already for the government in its continuous urge to regulate these kind of spaces, they already see a problem that these spaces are, at this moment, completely unregulated and regulation is bypassed.
Eric Klutenberg talks of the government looking at media functions rather than infrastructure or technical platforms, because it becomes unclear where one platform ends and another begins. He says the government wants to use media functions rather than platforms because every time a new medium is introduced, the laws run behind it.
Instead of thinking about these kinds of media genres, infrastructure or technical platforms, they want to start thinking about media functions, what sho.. what they call the functional approach to the media landscape. And they see a number of functions, I'll just mention them briefly: news provisions, providing possibilities to form opinions and get background information, entertainment, provision of specific information - this is for specific target groups, special interest groups that.. that can be anything basically, but very targeted, and then the commercial functions and specific forms of media use that are aimed at influencing the behaviour of people. And here they are specially thinking of government campaigns. So rather than thinking of media platforms, they want to start thinking about these kind of functions. Also, there is for them reason to think in this direction because it becomes increasingly unclear where the markets, the media markets, are demarcated, because they flow over into each other and across different media platforms, there is also a growing unclarity where communication starts and ends, and where information provision starts and ends. If you watch television on a mobile phone, then this becomes a confluence of the two spheres, and actually they are regulated by entirely different legal schemes. So also there, there is a huge problem for the government. Also they say functions offer a more stabil.. offer more stable categories for media policies than specific technological trends because every time a new medium is introduced, the media laws in fact run behind it. And the values that were identified in the beginning, especially the values for public media services - pluriformity, independence and accessibility, can be more properly linked to specific functions. So, this is a kind of overview of how they see this terrain, and on the basis of this they come to four possible models of how public media services could develop in the future.
Klutenberg talks of the four models.
The first one is the one with minimum regulation. Here the model basically is that because of such an explosion of the media market, it becomes impossible for the.. for any kind of government to effectively intervene in this process. So rather than financing public functions, the only thing they will do is regulate and monitor what is happening in these media spaces, for instance that they are not used for hate speech or for incen.. inciting to all kinds of violence and stuff like that. So then the government basically entirely retreats from this domain. This basically also denies the political will to have public functions in the media landscape. The second model is exactly the model that I proposed to the Green Party a few years ago, the production front model, and you can imagine that I was pretty amazed when I started to read this. And they say exactly this. Dissolve all the money, put the technical infrastructure in place and create a production front and set out tenders for larger..
Continues with the four models.
[..] and sort of say this is a really good model. The third one is basically create a independent organization that takes care of all these functions like the BBC, that is a model that is not very popular. And the fourth one is the one that is very specific for the Netherlands, and it's a half-open model in which a.. a.. broadcasting societies can enlist, and.. but they need to have a substantive membership. So they have to show that they have a real backing.
Government needs to address these public services.
[..] media that becomes increasingly irrelevant to social debate, let's say. And, I would like to throw open this question and put the role of public funding back on the table, because it is one model by which the sustainability of these kind of practices can be strongly.. strengthened. And I am really worried that if governments are not being addressed.. take seriously their responsibility for these kind of vital public services, that they will simple crumble and disappear after a while, that they will be completely incorporated into the business..