The search for a civic commons online: an assessment of existing BBC Online policy

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    Abstract

    Debates surrounding democracy and the internet are of central importance to the future of public service broadcasting. Some of these debates have led a group of scholars to argue for the establishment of a civic commons online, in response to the commercial nature of the internet and its limited support of deliberative democracy. General features of a civic commons online include the formation of a deliberative space free from corporate and state influence, yet that receives some form of public funding. Given their long and relatively successful history, some scholars have argued that existing public service broadcasters might provide the best chance for the establishment of such a commons. This article evaluates existing BBC Online policy in the UK in light of these arguments, and assesses the extent to which existing policy might allow space for the establishment of such a civic commons. The article concludes by arguing that while existing BBC Online policy would allow the basic grounds for the establishment of a civic commons online, there are significant obstacles to its full realization.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)864-879
    JournalMedia, Culture and Society
    Volume35
    Issue number7
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

    Keywords

    • BBC Online
    • BBC Trust
    • civic commons
    • digital democracy
    • internet
    • media policy
    • public service broadcasting

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