MEDIT Seminar: Hacking Public Service Media Funding – a Scenario For Rethinking the License Fee As a Form of Civic Crowdfunding

Speaker: Tiziano Bonini (University of Siena)
Time: July 7, 15:30-17:00
Place: M-213


The seminar will analyse the difficulties faced by public service media in the current political, economic and multimedia context. It will proceed with an examination of the main financing methods used by public service media and of the most recent reforms at the European level. The last part of this seminar will d​e​scribe a potential “scenario” of reforming public service media license fee model through the dynamics of civic crowdfunding, allowing citizens to decide in which programs they may invest a (20%) quota.

The scenario we have built is framed in the direction of a “digitally enabled collaborative economy” (Kostakis and Bauwens, 2014), where citizens can experiment with a form of participation in media that is no longer “content-related” but “structural” (Carpentier, 2011). In order to prove the value of this hypothesis, the model has been tested on 649 Italian citizens. This test demonstrated that, although 83% of the survey sample believe the current cost of the Italian license fee is too high, 70% of them would be willing to pay even more if they could be in control of a part of the license fee and decide where to invest it. Therefore, we have shown that our sample of Italian citizens and Internet users is favorably disposed toward forms of more structural participation in the decision-making processes of public service media and in the co-management of public service media budgets.

The aim of the seminar is to demonstrate the potential value of audience’ structural participation in reshaping the role of public service media in contemporary digital cultures and networked societies.

About the Speaker

Tiziano Bonini (1977) is Assistant Professor in Media Sociology and teaches Mass Communication Theories and Sociology of Communication at the Department of Social, Political and Cognitive Sciences, University of Siena. He holds a PhD (2008, University of Siena) in Media, Communication and Public Sphere, with a research on the way migrants employ media to “feel at home” and re-connect with their domestic public spheres. Dr. Bonini's research focuses on the relationship between media and society, with a specific focus on radio and digital media; other research issues are public service media; social media studies; audience studies; media, public sphere and migration.

Dr. Bonini has been visiting scholar at London UCL and visiting researcher at the Department of Digital Humanities, at King’s College, London. His articles have been published by The European Journal of Communication; Media, Culture & Society; European Journal of Cultural Studies; Information, Communication & Technology; International Journal of Media Management; First Monday. He edited the volume of the ECREA series "Radio Audiences and Participation in the Age of Network Society" (London, Routledge, 2015)

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