VALCOMM presents USC PSM research trajectory at the RIPE International Congress in Lisbon

Research members of the VALCOMM project at the University of Santiago de Compostela presented on 16 May at the RIPE international congress in Lisbon the more than two decades of research on public service media coordinated by professors Francisco Campos Freire and Miguel Túñez López. The event was attended by USC professors and members of the VALCOMM project Marta Rodríguez Castro and Tania Fernández Lombao, as well as Miguel Túñez himself. Francisco Campos recounted through a virtual connection the more than 20 years of research dedication on PSM of the USC, and referred to the different projects that have progressively shaped this line of research and that have in VALCOMM their last sample. For its part, the rest of the team delved into the operational dynamics of the group and presented different key conclusions related to the importance of preserving public value as the central axis of the PSM strategy and the impact of new technologies such as artificial intelligence to establish a structural, logistical and innovative renewal of public service media in the current digital context.

The full presentation can be downloaded at the following link.

Marta Rodríguez-Castro presented in Lisbon the results of the research carried out together with Valcomm researchers Mónica López-Golán (Universidade da Coruña) and Azahara Cañedo (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha) on the perception of innovation in a small regional public media: Radiotelevisión del Principado de Asturias. The study is based on a combination of two qualitative methods. Firstly, semi-structured interviews were conducted with RTPA managers (n=6) to identify how they conceive innovation in this medium, what their priorities are and what difficulties they encounter. This management vision is contrasted with the perception of external stakeholders (audiences, content producers and advertisers) on RTPA’s innovation. In total, 7 focus groups were carried out with 59 participants. The results highlight the difficulties arising from a very small budget, with which there is hardly any room for experimentation, while at the same time highlighting the resistance to change on the part of the structure of the public broadcaster. Audiences, producers and advertisers all demand higher levels of creativity and innovation from their public broadcaster.

Tania Fernández-Lombao presented at the RIPE congress in Lisbon a research carried out with Valcomm researchers Olga Blasco-Blasco (Universitat de València) and Francisco Campos-Freire (Universidade de Santiago de Compostela) on the impact that the stagnation of European PSM budgets, if inflation is passed on, is having on the loss of independence and sustainability. Within the framework of the review of the licence fee financing model in several European countries, the risk derived from the direct budgetary contributions of the states emerges in terms of dependence on the conditioning factors of political and governmental power. The study focuses on the analysis of the evolution of European PSM budgets between 2013 and 2022 and their impact on the performance of their audiences and the reputational perceptions of their independence. For this purpose, the homogenised statistics of the European Audiovisual Observatory (Yearbook, 2022) and the reports of the European Broadcasting Union (Media Intelligence Service, 2023, 2024) were used.

Isaac Maroto, during his presentation, presented a chatbot generator software designed for the promotion of series in public media. In three steps, the software called SeriesFAN makes it possible to configure the personality of a chatbot consistent with a specific narrative and automate promotional ads. Using conversational storytelling via WhatsApp, the media communicate in an interactive and personalised way with their audiences, facilitating the promotional work of their employees. In short, it is a promotional tool based on generative artificial intelligence that enables personalised communication with audiences while gathering information and demands from the public, all within an intuitive and simple interface that does not require technical knowledge to use.

Isaac Maroto’s presentation can be watched at the following link.

Researcher Martín Vaz-Álvarez, with his intervention on the effects and measures of Public Service Media in the Baltic countries in the face of the Russia-Ukraine war, highlighted the integration of adaptive content strategies in these corporations that have had to significantly adapt their content to provide accurate and timely news about the war, combating disinformation while addressing the diverse needs of their audience through multilingual news services. The consequences of an extremely polarised environment have been palpable in newsrooms and in public discourse, in the form of pressures, along with the need to establish editorial guidelines to lessen the effects of certain news stories on the Russian-speaking population and the need to create innovative security protocols within the newsroom. Also noteworthy are the editorial challenges and innovations involved in wartime contexts, which have required changes not only in the volume of news coverage but also in the quality and depth of content. Broadcasters have shifted from a focus on quantity to a focus on quality, with a particular emphasis on editorial independence to effectively counter disinformation. Finally, and of great importance, resource allocation, the difficulties of adapting budgets to the new situation and the emotional management of newsrooms continue to be some of the biggest challenges facing these media in the context of war.

Martin Vaz’s presentation can be watched at this link.

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