The Statement to World Day of Public Services - in English

World Day of Public Services – Cherish and Support Public Service Broadcasting

Public broadcasting has an important role in providing access and participation in public life. For many people the public service broadcaster in their country is the main source of information about politics, cultural events and wider society. UNESCO is committed to supporting and promoting public broadcasting to serve the interests of the people as citizens and not as consumers. Public service broadcasters reach much of the population and also minority groups, thus contributing to social inclusion and the improvement of civil society. Therefore, the public broadcaster should have the following functions: Universality, diversity, independence and impartiality, innovation, wide coverage, high technical quality, and high production levels. The public broadcaster should make programmes which reflect the cultural, linguistic, territorial differences of the country in which it broadcasts.

The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, argues that the signatories “may take measures to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions within their territory”, including through actions “to promote the diversity of media, including through public service broadcasting principles” These principles should underpin everything the public broadcaster does.

By ensuring that the public broadcaster focuses on the less privileged sections of society, the State must seek to ensure that the divisions between social groups are reduced rather than widened. This can be achieved by providing accessible public service broadcasting that responds to the real needs of the population. The public service broadcasting should also be a stimulus to the development of the audiovisual industry. It should be a support for education and training, promoting cultural and educational development of citizens and serve to extend the scope of participation in society and expression of the community. Specific programming should seek to fill the gaps ignored by a private or commercial system that focuses on a commercial return.

Public services including public service broadcasting in many countries have suffered serious cuts as response to the financial and sovereign debt crisis. Governments and the International Monetary Fund bring about stringent austerity policies programs in many countries. The failures of the international financial markets, the key players as well as austerity policies harm employment, creativity, pluralistic information and the democracy.

Therefore, the trade unions, representing workers in the broadcasting services across the world, endorse the importance of public service broadcasting for democracy, for our societies and for the development of the welfare state. We therefore ask that all countries commit themselves to the defence of public broadcasting services, ensuring adequate funds to fulfil the objectives that we have set out above. It must be a fundamental right of citizenship to have access to a pluralistic media with many opinions and voices. Otherwise, if public broadcasting services are allowed to wither away through lack of funding, we would lose an important voice in society. Support for public broadcasting means encouraging many different voices to speak. A plurality of voices is important for an open democratic country. Public broadcasting helps people to exercise their democratic rights by giving them information about the society in which they live.

We call on the citizens of the world to:
• Resist all attempts to destroy public television, radio and the internet.
• Cherish and Support the public broadcaster in their own country
• See it as a valuable service providing information and cultural entertainment for all
• Embrace it and support it.
• Think that democracy is never enough. Fight for more.
• Realize that every conquered democratic right is useful to the struggle for more democracy.

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