Children’s public service broadcasters and their challenges in the online era: a comparison between the UK and Germany
This thesis aims to establish the differences and similarities in how publicly- funded public service broadcasters in the UK and Germany negotiate challenges and opportunities related to the transition from broadcasting to a multi-platform provision for children. The substantive subject of this research is the transition from public service broadcasting to public service multi- platform media for children under 13 years in the United Kingdom and Germany, where public service broadcasters offer content and services on multiple platforms, including traditional TV, audio, online and mobile media. The research focuses on the publicly-funded broadcasters SWR, BR (ARD), BBC and ZDF and ARD/ZDF’s joint children’s channel KiKA, while the original research further narrows the focus down to those services on new online and mobile platforms. The research applies a qualitative comparative approach based on a triangulation of literature study, document analysis and semi-structured expert interviews with broadcasters, producers and stakeholders in the policy-making process. The thesis consists of three parts and a conclusion. The thesis concludes that, although there are some similarities, the BBC and the German public service broadcasters under review differ in regard to how they understand the challenge of the multi-platform transformation, the main sources and characteristics of that challenge and the purpose of the multi-platform provision.
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