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A Future for Public Service Television$
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Des Freedman and Vana Goblot

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781906897710

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9781906897710.001.0001

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Public Service Algorithms

Public Service Algorithms

(p.111) 11 Public Service Algorithms
A Future for Public Service Television

James Bennett

The MIT Press

A prevailing metaphor for television throughout its history has been as a ‘window on the world’, which enables viewers to explore a variety of different content, viewpoints, debates, and landscapes. This was a function largely fulfilled in the broadcast era by scheduling: providing viewers with a mixed diet of programming, albeit at the scheduler's behest. Crucially, within a public service broadcasting (PSB) remit, this window on the world offered viewers the chance to broaden their horizons — taking them from comedy, to news, to drama, to a music documentary, to current affairs programmes. This chapter argues that this variety of offering is a crucial part of what public service algorithms should aspire to offer. This means thinking differently about the data collected and measured for PSB, and using it to set different objectives that escape some of the bounded thinking of a commercially driven, on-demand digital television market.

Keywords:   television broadcasting, public service broadcasting, public service algorithms, television programs, PSB

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