{book project} The beginning

book project, Research

I just read this wisdom from the most popular Medium post of the day:

Psychologist Gail Matthews at Dominican University found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down.

So here we go: I have just started my work on my next book:

“Public Media for Social Change” (working title).

Screen Shot 2015-06-07 at 10.22.56 AMThe project is, in fact, a part of a bigger effort to rethink access, content, and impact in the new global media/comm tech landscape.
As a scholar, I have worked in public broadcasting as well as studied public service media around the world. For almost a decade now, some colleagues and I have been discussing the necessary shift from public media de jure (institutions) to different models of public media de facto. In this new environment, we feel, old institutions can’t respond to the societal challenges alone, or remain sustainable. New networked forms may be to temporary and too niche-focused to grain the kind of traction needed for social change. Yet, at the same time, commercialization of the Net and simultaneous government pressures threaten free expression and necessary knowledge for citizenry. Hence, new models and ideas of collaboration and multistakeholderisms are needed.

Book project:
I aim to collect success stories where institutional meets the situational, old media meets new platforms, different stakeholders collaborate, in the quest for sustainable social change. These are examples beyond social media-fuelled organizing or protests; more about the community-building, citizen-focused inclusive communication that aims to connect people to learn, discuss and debate common issues (the original ideal of public media).

I hope these cases, from around the world, will lead to a grounded theory of new models of public media de facto.

The manuscript will be ready by late Spring 2016.

(I have earlier written about public media and multi-stakeholderism, and am currently working on an article re: public media in the light of human rights and information and communication rights, as well as another one on the connections between public media and media reform and internet rights movements.)

Related initiatives:
I’m a member of the RIPE network of public service media professionals (managers, strategists, scholars). Until the 2012, the network focused mainly on Europe and North America. Since its conference in Sydney (@2012), RIPE has begun to make a real effort to globalize public media conversations. The Open Society Foundations have supported that process with some grants.

One of the grants projects is a global network of academic and applied researchers working in the field, an initiative I am helping with. This will first be realized as a pilot, a contact repository  for people to find like-minded scholars for exchange of information and future projects. Here’s a newsletter update where we are after a couple of months of network-building. The pilot repository will be completed at the end of this year.  After that, we hope to collaborate with others, the EBU included, to extend the repository to all kinds of institutions and organizations, projects, policy-makers, advocacy organizations, etc.

Stay tuned for more.

{research} Should Public Service Media be a Right?


Or rather, can we align the mission and legitimization of PSM with other rights-based approaches that seek to reclaim the digital commons? What do you think?

Read my take from this working paper, prepared for the RIPE@2014 conference in Tokyo in August: Rights-Based Approach to PSM?

{research} Call For Journal Articles_New Perspectives on Public Service Media



New Perspectives on Public Service Media

A special issue of Medijske studije/ Media Studies Journal to be published in December 2015.

Edited by Minna Aslama Horowitz (St. John’s University, USA) and Viktorija Car (University of Zagreb, Croatia).

About the issue

The idea and ideal of public service media will soon celebrate its first 100 years. Although many argue that the definition and principles of PSM still work after all these years, others posit that it is time to challenge them thoroughly.

In the 1920s the concept of PSM was developed following the idea of electronic media as a public good, because of a spectrum scarcity. That is why public monopolies were created.

As technology developed, spectrum scarcity was not any longer an argument for defining PSM as a public good. Within time, PSM really became a form of social capital – a social value developed in a long time period as a result of relations among people (journalist, editors and the audience) and the trustworthiness among them (Coleman, 1988[1]).

In the past decade, with the increasingly rapid proliferation of online and mobile technologies, the idea of public service in terms of media and communications has become intertwined to a variety of new cases, such as open source and access software, or participatory platforms and projects such as crisis mapping. Should this new form of activity be called PSM? Or, should traditional public service institutions extend their mandate? Should PSM organizations collaborate with other actors (Horowitz & Clark 2014[2]) in forming a new, networked public media ecosystem?

At the same time, in many emerging democracies, new media systems are being established. Is the idea and ideal of PSM obsolete, or, is it more relevant than ever? And, can the existence of specific public service media organizations be considered a human right (Boev & Bukovska 2011[3])?


Given the complexity of the new media landscapes, new perspectives on Public Service Media are crucial to the related scholarship. Topics of interest for this special issue include but are not limited to the following:

  • Public service media – a policy project under revision
  • Public service media as a public good, as a social capital, or as a part of the communications rights regime
  • Public service media and the changing public sphere(s)
  • Media management challenges of public service media in the multi-platform environment
  • Comparative outlooks on PSM
  • Transitions from state (or other media) systems to PSM
  • New PSM? Public service media beyond institutions (alternative media, community media, social networks, mapping)


Information about the journal:

Media Studies is an interdisciplinary journal published by the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Political Science and the Croatian Communication Association. The journal provides an international forum for the presentation of research and the advancement of discourse concerning media, communications, journalism, and public relations, within each field’s cultural, historical, political and/or economic contexts.

The articles should not be published before (neither partially nor completely), nor currently be considered for publication by any other journal or book, nor should the submissions be a translation of previously published articles.

The journal is indexed in the SCOPUS database.

For more see http://www.fpzg.unizg.hr/index.php?q=/izdavastvo/casopisi/media-studies


Submission guidelines: Please send your abstract (500 – 700 words) and a short CV with contact information, to the guest editors and please make sure that it addresses the theoretical framework, method and (preliminary) conclusions. The deadline for abstracts is 15 September 2014 and authors will be notified by 1 October 2014. Upon acceptance, manuscripts shall undergo a rigorous international double-blind peer review. Manuscripts should be written in English, using Times New Roman; size 12; 1.5 line spacing; all pages should be numbered appropriately. The main text of the article should be between 5,000 and 6,000 words (for more see http://www.fpzg.unizg.hr/docs/MEDIA_STUDIES_nfa.pdf).

The deadline for full articles is 31 March 2015.


Please send your abstract or questions to the special issue editors:

Viktorija Car viktorija.car@fpzg.hr

Minna Aslama Horowitz minna.aslama@helsinki.fi


[1] Coleman, James S. (1988) Social Capital in the Creation of Human Capital. The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 94, Supplement: Organizations and Institutions: Sociological and Economic Approaches to the Analysis of Social Structure, pp. S95-S120.

[2]Aslama Horowitz M.  & Clark, J. (2014). Multi-stakeholderism. Value for Public Service Media. RIPE@2013. Gothenburg: NORDICOM, 165-183.

[3] Boev, B. & Bukoska B. (2011). Public Service Media and Human Rights. Issue Discussion Paper. Commissioner for Human Rights. Strasbourg: Council of Europe.