From March 27 to 29 the “Public Value goes international” kick-off workshop took place at FHWien of WKW.
For the first time since the start of the research and teaching project in January 2014, scientists from Germany and Finland came to Vienna to work on numerous project-related issues with the Journalism Research Center. In several workshop sessions the international guests and the project team led by Nic Gonser discussed cooperation in research and teaching, in publications as well as conference submissions.
In three intensive workshop days, the focus of activities in the months ahead could be determined: In stage 1, the project “Public Value goes international” will especially examine the aspect of trust (German: Vertrauen) in the (public service) media by the audience
Definition of public value:
National differences and simplification as challenges
In their input presentations, the workshop participants talked about their experiences and findings from previous research and stated their special interests for future research on public value. In the role as experts for their countries, they also presented national trends and characteristics in terms of the understanding of public value within society as well as within public service media companies.
Hardy Gundlach, cooperation partner from Germany, pointed out that society tends to take a too simplistic perspective on the public value construct: “Discourse apart from science is mostly about individual aspects only, for example about the question if public service broadcasters should include entertainment in their programs or not.”
The assessment of public value beyond national definitions and isolated questions is one of the main objectives of the project “Public Value goes international”, which will receive funding by Municipal Department 23 of the City of Vienna until the end of 2016.
Konrad Mitschka, working at the Public Value Competence Center at the Austrian public service broadcaster ORF, welcomed this undertaking on March 28 at FHWien of WKW, when he was invited to the workshop as guest speaker: “I am glad that there is a dedicated team of researchers from all over Europe who are concerning themselves with the quality of media and with media productions that bring benefits to the people.”
Despite the challenges for a European approach in public value research, optimism prevailed at the workshop. Kaisa Sorsa, project partner from Finland, noted during her input presentation: “I am very positive that we will find common research topics so that we can make comparative research.” The final mindmapping on March 29 proved her right: Common ground was quickly found through the question of trust in (public service) media companies, viewed from an audience’s perspective.
The workshop in five minutes
Hardy Gundlach (GER), Konrad Mitschka (AUT / ORF) and Kaisa Sorsa (FIN) are talking about their understanding of public value, national characteristics and expectations concerning the project “Public Value goes international”:
The video was produced on March 28 by Lukas Pitscheider, MA student at the Institute for Journalism & Media Management.
On April 23, 2014, Hardy Gundlach will participate in the panel discussion “future@challenges, öffentlich-rechtliche Medien auf dem Prüfstand“.