Most countries around the world, with a few notable exceptions, have a national publicly funded broadcaster. These broadcasting organisations can make an important contribution to the public’s right to a diversity of information and viewpoints, and the free flow of information and ideas. However, the extent to which they in fact make this contribution depends on a number of factors, including the legal environment in which they exist. A Model Public Service Broadcasting Law seeks to provide guidance as to how the law may be used to help promote genuine public service broadcasting.
A key purpose of the Model Law is to give legal form to some leading principles relating to public service broadcasting. Four central themes, each in tension with the other, define the key challenges for a public service broadcasting law: the types of programming to be provided; the means by which independence is guaranteed; the sources of funding; and promoting accountability to the public.