Back in the twenties John Reith, the first general director of the BBC said that their most important mission was to “inform, educate and entertain”. If Mr. Reith had defined this mission today, would he said something else? Has the internet changed the main mission of a license funded public broadcaster?
There is no doubt about the fact that the internet is a perfect place to inform, educate and entertain. And it is possible for a public broadcaster to reach it’s goal without much change even when it is starting to utilize the internet to deliver information, education and entertainment.
But should license funded broadcasters like the BBC, the NRK in Norway, SVT in Sweden and DR in Denmark do something in addition to this when they start using the internet to deliver their content? Should we add some words? The internet opens up a totally new way of using content. A couple of words that pop up in my mind are share, participate, open, facilitate, make available…
I don’t think inform, educate and entertain cover the mantra of content, conversation, context and control. Or simply how to be successful on the internet. What do you think? Will the internet give public broadcasters new and important roles? I most definitely think so.
The comments are open. (And if you want to discuss this in Norwegian more or less directly related to the NRK I have also posted this article and opened for discussion over at NRKbeta.)