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Konrad Mitschka PUBLIC VALUE TEXTS The definition was given right at the beginning: "Public value: The qualifying distinguishing feature in the evaluation of media programs is the additional public benefit that programs provide, even if, and perhaps even because, they rely on large reach or identified target groups for the sake of economic rationality," explains communications scientist Prof. Dr. Thomas Bauer (University of Vienna) in TEXTE 1 the term "public value. In the following expenditure, TEXTE 2, then Prov.Doz.DDr. Julia Wippersberg (University of Vienna) brings the difference between commercial and public media on the point: "Public-legal offerers have (in contrast to private broadcasting corporations) by their program mandate the obligation and the task to generate public values'', and only the historian Univ.- Prof.Dr. Karl Vocelka (University of Vienna) is even more explicit in TEXTE 3: "Public broadcasting [erg: is] not only necessary as a counterweight against the dumbing down of the people by private broadcasters, but is also indispensable as a socio-political steering body for the basic lines of orientation of this state towards its own identity and consciousness.''

Since its inception, the publication "TEXTE," most recently renamed "PUBLIC VALUE TEXTE" for the sake of clarity, has been committed to discourse of public service quality. More than 250 authors have participated in this discourse, not only describing general distinctive features, but also repeatedly discussing specific topics. Dr. Beate Groegger (Institute for Youth Culture Research), for example, discussed the topic of youth: "From the point of view of youth research, public broadcasting has a different mandate: On the one hand, it should serve both the information and entertainment needs of young media users in as sophisticated a manner as possible. On the other hand, public broadcasting should also contribute to correcting common wishful and distorted images of today's youth by providing adult audiences with information offerings that show youth at least approximately as it really is - namely youth in all its diversity and breadth,'' or Dr. Brigitte Naderer (University of Munich) in her contribution on, among other things, advertising in public media: "Advertising is necessary to cover the production costs of media providers. But the placement of this advertising content plays a role especially for the consciously perceived media enjoyment of the viewer. Public television stands for this uninterrupted media enjoyment and thus sides with its audience.''

The Public Value Competence Center has published its own issues on the program pillars of sports, science and entertainment. DI Dr. Helmut Leopold (AIT), for example, constitutes the training of "digital literacy" "as a fundamental core task for public service media institutions" and Dr. Georg Spitaler (University of Vienna) says on the subject of sports: "Critical journalism instead of alleged "national interest" also concerns sports, especially in times when the public sphere appears to be endangered by the court reporting of paid PR and journalistically unreliable social media," while Prof. Dr. Gabriele Siegert (University of Zurich) sums up public entertainment: "At the same time, the entertainment production of public providers is also facing current challenges, driven by technological and economic imperatives, firstly in a changing media industry, secondly in changing content and thirdly in changing media use. In view of these developments, a debate on quality must be intensified. However, while quality criteria in journalism have been discussed intensively for a long time, the debate about quality in entertainment is more limited. Nevertheless, starting points for quality entertainment can also be found here, such as legality, transparency, content, design, comprehensibility, harmlessness, professionalism, innovation, acceptance and diversity, as well as the contribution to identity construction, which is especially important for small states."

Other special issues have dealt with the task of public service media in relation to elections, the Eurovision Song Contest and, most recently, Corona. Again and again, the contributions pointed out the special nature of the tasks, especially with regard to information. Dr. Beate Winkler (Bureau of European Policy Advisers of the European Commission), for example, formulated: "Public broadcasting - and not the private providers - has the task of ensuring that the plurality of our society is reflected in the programming and that the journalistic contributions are based on the common system of values.'' Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ulrich Krtner (University of Vienna) stated: ''From the point of view of democracy, information comes first. This must remain the case if public broadcasting is to continue to have a right to exist. Without comprehensive information, the participation of citizens in a democratic society and its political decision-making is not possible.'' And Univ.-Prof. Dr. Peter Vitouch (University of Vienna) interpreted public service media psychologically: ''Public service media as mountain guides in the rugged, rocky terrain of fear management. As a counterpart to the tabloids, which make recipients fearful, immobile and helpless with their undifferentiated horror news.'' There were also repeated references to the importance of public service media on the Internet, although - or precisely because - ORF is subject to strict restrictions here, which for years made self-evident attitudes such as "online first" or permanent publications of self-produced content impossible for others. According to Prof. Dr. Bernd Holznagel (University of Mnster) in his contribution, another core element would be "the ability of public broadcasting to effectively stand up for its values and objectives on the Internet as well. It must be able to use the new technical possibilities of addressing users in order to fulfill its mission of integration and counteract polarization tendencies on the Net.''

Other special issues have dealt with the task of public service media in relation to elections, the Eurovision Song Contest and, most recently, Corona. Again and again, the contributions pointed out the special nature of the tasks, especially with regard to information. Dr. Beate Winkler (Bureau of European Policy Advisers of the European Commission), for example, formulated: "Public broadcasting - and not the private providers - has the task of ensuring that the plurality of our society is reflected in the programming and that the journalistic contributions are based on the common system of values.'' Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ulrich Krtner (University of Vienna) stated: ''From the point of view of democracy, information comes first. This must remain the case if public broadcasting is to continue to have a right to exist. Without comprehensive information, the participation of citizens in a democratic society and its political decision-making is not possible.'' And Univ.-Prof. Dr. Peter Vitouch (University of Vienna) interpreted public service media psychologically: ''Public service media as mountain guides in the rugged, rocky terrain of fear management. As a counterpart to the tabloids, which make recipients fearful, immobile and helpless with their undifferentiated horror news.'' There were also repeated references to the importance of public service media on the Internet, although - or precisely because - ORF is subject to strict restrictions here, which for years made self-evident attitudes such as "online first" or permanent publications of self-produced content impossible for others. According to Prof. Dr. Bernd Holznagel (University of Mnster) in his contribution, another core element would be "the ability of public broadcasting to effectively stand up for its values and objectives on the Internet as well. It must be able to use the new technical possibilities of addressing users in order to fulfill its mission of integration and counteract polarization tendencies on the Net.''

In the course of its history, PUBLIC VALUE TEXTS have not only offered Austrian or German-speaking authors the opportunity to publish their thoughts on public service media quality. In fact, contributions have come from the USA, Canada and also from all EU countries, i.e. from Estonia as well as from Portugal, from Ireland as well as from Cyprus etc. One special issue of the series focused on Greece and the closure of the public broadcaster ERT, another on the struggle for independence of the Slovenian public broadcaster. Most recently, contributions from the international RIPE conference were published, which addressed the future of public service media in the digital realm in Vienna in 2022. This latest issue - PUBLIC VALUE TEXTS 26 - made clear that the demand to strengthen public service media in the face of the power of commercial groups is being raised internationally. There is also a need, as Dr. Natascha Zeitel-Bank (University of Innsbruck) put it in her article, for fair and transparent financing of quality media. She was joined by Alessandro d'Arma and Maria Michalis (both University of Westminster) in calling for steps by regulators to rein in the dominance of big tech companies to promote public service quality and opportunities.
The PUBLIC VALUE TEXTS currently hold at 272 authors, forming a unique collection of opinions, attitudes and viewpoints on public service quality that will undoubtedly be enlarged and added to in the years to come.