How is the MIT Media Lab financed

MEDIA Lab : Big differences

What breathtaking differences in Europe: The residents of Germany, adjusted for purchasing power, contribute around 15 times as much to the financing of public broadcasting as the residents of Poland to their state broadcasting. The scope of programs that is considered necessary for the “basic service” does not vary quite as widely: The spectrum ranges from 90 (!) Public radio and TV programs in Germany to nine programs in Latvia and Sweden. The program hours vary accordingly: 800,000 annually in Germany, Latvians and Swedes have to be content with 80,000.

A comparison of the program costs is even more interesting, because even if public broadcasters do not pursue profit maximization, they should not waste public funds. Germany has the highest production costs per hour of broadcast at EUR 12,378, and Latvia has the lowest at EUR 342. Apparently a lot more inexpensive radio programs are produced there than expensive TV programs. But even if you take that into account, the differences remain huge.

We owe these and other insights to a research team led by Tobias Eberwein (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna), who have just published the first data of a Europe-wide comparison of “key figures for public broadcasting”. The scientists examined 17 countries. It should be even more exciting when they soon specify their findings on the output, because ranges, which the researchers also name, are simply not suitable indicators.

After all, publicly financed media companies do not owe their raison d'etre to the ratings. It would be - and this is much more difficult - to measure which services they produce for which target groups in the interest of the common good that commercial media cannot provide. Crime excesses in the main evening program and news programs on ARD and ZDF, half of which are provided by the sports editorial team, are certainly not one of them.

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