Balancing public and private interests in online media: the case of BBC Digital Curriculum

Michalis, M. 2012. Balancing public and private interests in online media: the case of BBC Digital Curriculum. Media, Culture & Society. 34 (8), pp. 944-960.

TitleBalancing public and private interests in online media: the case of BBC Digital Curriculum
AuthorsMichalis, M.
Abstract

This article examines BBC Digital Curriculum, the BBC’s online learning service, from its conception in 1999 to its termination in 2008. Although it is a case study, the article has broader relevance for public service media. First, drawing on (media) policy-making literature, it presents a complex web of private, public and political interests refuting claims that commercial opposition alone closed down BBC Curriculum. Second, it questions the suggestion that the entry of public service broadcasting into a market necessarily displaces commercial activities. Third, it discusses complementarity, distinctiveness and market impact, and highlights some pitfalls of the public value test. Finally, it argues that BBC Digital Curriculum raised fundamentally political questions. The case study is placed in the context of public service content provision online, particularly the battle between ‘free’ and paid-for services, the outcome of which will shape the society we live in.

JournalMedia, Culture & Society
Journal citation34 (8), pp. 944-960
ISSN0163-4437
YearNov 2012
PublisherSage
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1177/0163443712455557
Publication dates
PublishedNov 2012

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