The Swiss Referendum on the Abolishment of Public Service Broadcasting

Speaker(s): Manuel Puppis

Libertarian views on media policy gain traction. Following digitization, there is a push for deregulation and free market solutions around the globe, including attempts at dismantling public service media. Exactly one month ago, Switzerland even held a popular vote on the abolishment of the license fee. Yet these libertarian demands put free and diverse media at risk. This talk will first show that libertarian media policy is not working due to market failure, an incompatibility between economic logic and media logic, and the smallness of many media systems. Second, it will discuss what a media policy in the public interest should look like, calling for an “infrastructure program” for journalism that includes subsidies, a governance of algorithms and media literacy programs. And finally, it will raise the questions of how to get there and what the role of media scholars could be.


Dr. Manuel Puppis is Full Professor in Media Systems and Media Structures at the Department of Communication and Media Research DCM,University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He currently serves as a member of the Swiss Federal Media Commission (FMEC). From 2012-2016 he was chair of ECREA’s “Communication Law and Policy” Section. Puppis holds a PhD in Communication Science and an M.A. in Communication Science, Political Science and Economic and Social History from the University of Zurich. His research interests include media policy, media regulation and media governance, media systems in a comparative perspective, political communication and organization theory.

Event details

Annenberg School for Communication