The challenges of the information society for public sector broadcasters: the case of Radio Teilifis Eireann (RTE) considered from an international perspective

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Oduwa-Malaka, Jennifer Uyi
Issue Date
MSc in International Business
Portobello College / University of Wales
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The objectives of this Research Dissertation are twofold. Firstly, through secondary research, it seeks to create a better understanding of the challenges for public sector broadcasters, internationally, of today's ever more dynamic 'Information Society', given the complexities of a demanding economic, political, technological, and socio-cultural environment. In this respect the research concludes that the rapid development of digital information and communications technologies (ICT's) resulting in the 'technological convergence' of the traditional entertainment, telecommunications and computing industries has resulted not only in a new 'Information Sector' of the global economy but also in a new global 'Information Society' in which ‘the means to access information both cost-effectively and efficiently and to add value to it, by converting it into commercially and/or socially valuable knowledge, through information-processing is proving increasingly crucial to future economic and social development’ (Martin, 1995). The net effect of these changes has been to bring about a paradigm shift in the classical models of business structure and management focus, especially in the information sector itself. Within that sector, it can be argued convincingly that public sector broadcasters are the least well equipped organisations in the sector to cope with the challenges of the burgeoning Information Society phenomenon, given that in so many countries they are still burdened by institutional, political and sociocultural constraints that liberalisation and de-regulation of markets has lifted from organisations in the remainder of the sector (as in the telecommunications industry, for example). Secondly, the Dissertation seeks, through primary research, to establish, evaluate and elucidate the issues involved in embracing the challenges of the Information Society for public sector broadcasters internationally, by carrying out a detailed case study examination of RTE, which it is contended is a typical example of a public sector broadcaster on the European model, producing output not just for the domestic market but, increasingly, for an international audience.