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date: 05 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Amongst the loftiest of journalism’s grand claims has been the ideal of “public service,” a term suggesting the antithesis of self-serving mendacity or mean-spirited motivation. To characterize oneself as a public servant is to profess a certain kind of civic virtue: an intention to act for all rather than some. This chapter addresses the question: What does it mean for journalists to provide a public service? The chapter considers the claims of journalists to be providers of a public service and the conditions that allow or inhibit the realization of such a high-minded aspiration. Further discussion explores the grounds upon which journalists have claimed to serve the public and concludes by offering a normative framework for public-service journalism within the contemporary media ecology.

Keywords: public service broadcasting, democracy, BBC, policy, regulation, public value, deliberation, public interest, journalism, public service, civic, public, media ecology

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