Up in the Air?

The Future of Public Service Media in the Western Balkans
Up in the Air? The Future of Public Service Media in the Western Balkans
$85.00 / €71.00 / £61.00
Publication date: 
June, 312 pages, 11 tables, 5 figures

The agenda for transition after the demise of communism in the Western Balkans made the conversion of state radio and television into public service broadcasters a priority, converting mouthpieces of the regime into public forums in which various interests and standpoints could be shared and deliberated. There is general agreement that this endeavor has not been a success. Formally, the countries adopted the legal and institutional requirements of public service media according to European standards. The ruling political elites, however, retained their control over the public media by various means.

Can this trend be reversed? Instead of being marginalized or totally manipulated, can public service media become vehicles of genuine democratization? 

A comparison of public service media in seven countries (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) addresses these important questions.

List of Tables
List of Figures
Preface and Acknowledgments

Chapter 1: Challenges and Prospects of Public Service Broadcasting in the Western Balkans
Laia Castro Herrero, Tarik Jusić, Davor Marko, and Manuel Puppis

Chapter 2: Public Service Media in Albania: RTSH’s Reforming Struggles
Blerjana Bino

Chapter 3: The Future of Public Service Broadcasting in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Nidžara Ahmetašević and Tea Hadžiristić

Chapter 4: The Future of Public Service Broadcasting in Croatia
Davor Marko

Chapter 5: The Future of Public Service Broadcasting in Kosovo
Naser Miftari

Chapter 6: The Future of Public Service Broadcasting in Montenegro
Nataša Ružić

Chapter 7: Four Normative Principles for Participatory Public Service Model in North Macedonia
Snežana Trpevska and Igor Micevski

Chapter 8: The Future of Public Service Broadcasting in Serbia
Davor Marko


Chapter 9: The Iron Law of Public Service Television
Péter Bajomi-Lázár

Chapter 10: Overcoming Path Dependencies in PBS Developments in Southeast Europe
Zrinjka Peruško

Chapter 11: Public Service Broadcasting in Central and Eastern Europe and the Western Balkans: Mission, Values, and Challenges
Gregory Ferrell Lowe

Chapter 12: Public Service Media in the Context of Adaptation and Change: A Call for Organizational Culture Analysis
Michał Głowacki

Chapter 13: Between The Hammer and the Anvil: Public Service Broadcasters in the Western Balkans Squeezed Between Commercialization and Politicization
Marko Milosavljević and Melita Poler Kovačič

Chapter 14: Digital Switchover and PSM in the Western Balkans
Sally Broughton Micova

Chapter 15: Prospects for Post Switchover Media Policy in the Western Balkan Countries
Kenneth Murphy

Chapter 16: State of the Art and the Future of PSM in the Western Balkans
Barbara Thomass

List of Contributors


"Apart from presenting a much-needed analysis of the state of public service media in the region, the book offers rich data about media systems. Another positive aspect is its critical approach towards mimetic policy change and focus on the sociopolitical contexts in which PSM operate. This is a valuable book which will be very useful for scholars studying media systems and conducting comparative media research."
“Up in the Air? offers an impressive overview of the state of play of Public Service Media in the Western Balkans. Renowned scholars in the field present empirical data and above all rich insights into the complexity of Public Service Media working (or not) in a context of politicization and commercialization. This book adds to the existing scholarship on Public Service Media, reflecting on this policy project, institutions as well as the values and activities related to it, challenging Western-centric theories to date. A must-read for everyone who is willing to accept that the mimetic approach, whereby post-communist countries simply take over the so-called BBC model, has not worked to date and will not work in the future either.”
"Vrijednost ove knjige sastoji se u detaljnim prikazima organizacijskih struktura, promatranju isprepletenih odnosa politike i javnih servisa, kao i suvremenih pokušaja transformacije javnog medija u demokratski alat koji će javnost obrazovati, informirati i zabaviti te će biti koristan priručnik medijskim profesionalcima, znanstvenicima, studentima, ali i kreatorima javnih politika."
“A timely, comprehensive and perceptive collection surveying key developments in a most delicate and significant European region. Well-crafted chapters document heroic achievements, thwarted aspirations, technological transformations and enduring struggles in forging national identities: the Western Balkans become a theater for exploring the difficult future and role of public service media in complex information ecologies.”