The Future of Public Service Broadcasting in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This paper probes the future prospects for PSB in BiH by looking at the developmental path of PSB and its current situation, taking into consideration complex contextual challenges. The paper argues that the transformation of the state broadcasters into a genuine PSB in BiH has so far failed with respect to all of the core elements of such a system: funding, independence, remit, and adoption of new technologies.

Themes: Institutional CommunicationMedia and Democratization
Nidžara Ahmetašević Tea Hadžiristić


Given the challenging situation with respect to the development and functioning of PSB in BiH, the paper discusses three aspects relevant to understanding its prospects. First, the development of the policy framework for PSB is examined by looking at how the initial media policy was adopted and what roles were played by key actors, such as the EU, international donors, local political elites and civil society, in policy-making processes. Special attention is placed on exploring the impact that EU accession criteria have had on policy-making regarding PSB. Secondly, the current situation with respect to the functioning of PSB in BiH is explored, particularly examining political, legal and financial factors. Finally, the paper studies the future prospects of the PSB system in the context of a rapidly changing multi-channel environment driven by convergence, digitalization, and the proliferation of social media and new media platforms in general.

The paper was produced within the project “The prospect and development of public service media: Comparative study of PSB development in Western Balkans in light of EU integration” that investigates the position, role, functioning, and the future of public service broadcasters in seven countries in the Western Balkans – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo and Serbia, taking into account the specific context in which these services developed and the role the European Union played in such processes. The project is implemented by the Center for Social Research Analitika in partnership with the University of Fribourg.

This project is financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation, through the SCOPES (Scientific cooperation between Eastern Europe and Switzerland) programme.