Public broadcasters and innovation: a contested combination in Flanders

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3 Citations (Scopus)


For long, Western European governments considered public broadcasters propellers of innovation in the media sector. Pointing at the decline of spectrum scarcity and other technological evolutions, private media companies and some scholars argue that innovation is not a public service task any longer. This article investigates whether government rhetorics and regulatory actions indeed follow these opinions. Is there a shift away from relying on public broadcasters for triggering innovation in the media sector towards innovation programs that depend more on private sector investments? Focus is on Flanders (the Northern part of Belgium) where government has made new agreements with the public broadcaster VRT about its tasks. The article, which is based on a literature study, document analysis and expert interviews, concludes that politicians in spite of some improvements at the level of overcoming fragmentation, are making few policy choices, leaving things somewhere 'in the middle' as they assign innovation tasks and fragmented budgets to all players in the media market.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)276-288
Number of pages13
JournalInnovation: Management, Policy & Practice
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Innovation
  • Public broadcasting
  • Flanders

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