Thematic Connection to Social Cohesion
Given their relative independence from state intervention and broadcasting fee-based financing, public service media (PSM) are less affected by negative market externalities. Theoretically, this circumstance leads to advantages in the editorial selection of topics and the production of media content. An orientation towards public interest in reporting - again theoretically – open the chance of a special position of these media in creating publics, integrating diverse communities, enabling political participation and improve the acceptance of public media offerings in society. Starting from the German constitution and the current legal provisions, the project will analyse the scope and aspects of an integration-related mandate of PSM and to what extent the current public service broadcasters perform this mandate from the perspective of the population.
The project combines conceptual-theoretical fundamental research on the institutional foundations of society - its media order - with empirical studies on the conception, implementation and acceptance of "social cohesion" as a remit of PSM. Based on FGZ heuristics, the project focuses in particular on a) attitudes and opinions (affective dimension
) and b) structural institutional conditions
. Indirectly, findings on the presence of public service media in public (social media) discourses will also be analysed, with the result that findings on forms of collectively effective narration
will also be identified.
Methods, Empirical Approach, Procedure
The project consists of five work packages. We first examine whether an integration-related remit of PSM
can be discerned from constitutional provisions and the current legal framework. In doing so, we also draw on international comparisons. This integration task will be further differentiated and operationalised within the framework of the project.
Building on this, we use various empirical methods in several sub-studies to determine how the cohesion-related services of PSM
and the corresponding expectations of the population can be defined and measured in the face of media and social change:
- Interdisciplinary scientific expert workshops as well as stakeholder workshops (with PSM; citizens; relevant civil society institutions) in order to determine and continue the scope and specification of the integration-related remit of PSM;
- Secondary analyses of data from the "Reuters Institute Digital News Survey" to determine the relevance and acceptance of PSM offerings in Germany, both longitudinal since 2013 and in international comparison (carried out in cooperation with the project "Media Use and Social Cohesion" within the FGZ);
- Analysis of presence of PSM offerings in social media in order to determine the relevance of PSM content in cohesion-related discourses as well as their importance in the information repertoires of social media users (two-waves analysis; will be carried out using data from the project "(Social) Media Observatory" within the FGZ);
- A quantitative representative survey to investigate user-based expectations towards PSM, especially with regard to social cohesion (carried out in cooperation with the project "What Journalists Want and What They Ought to Do” within the FGZ).