[csaa-forum] Reminder: CFP RIPE public service media conference - Sydney 5-7 Sept 2012

Fiona Martin fiona.martin at sydney.edu.au
Mon Jan 9 13:10:15 CST 2012

Value for Public Money – Money for Public Value
RIPE at 2012 
A biennial conference on public service media
September 5 – 7th, 2012 in Sydney, Australia
Call for papers
For the 6th RIPE (Re-Visionary Interpretations of the Public Enterprise)
conference we will focus on research that demonstrates how and why the
public receives good value for the money spent on public service media (PSM)

Is PSM a good deal, how good a deal it is, and why does that matter? How
much does this vary inside Europe, and what can we say about the situation
outside Europe? How best to define ‘public value’ today? It is important to
address claims that PSM is wasteful, inefficient, unresponsive,
irresponsible, etc.
We invite analysis and research that grows understanding of PSM performance
in relation to the private commercial sector. It is expected that attention
will be given to the quality, variety and differentiation of programmes and
services PSM provides, and the value that publics derive from these
economically, culturally and socially.
The conference also signals the importance of money for public value, which
shifts the focus of research to governance systems, public value testing and
similar accountability mechanisms, critical discussion of problems in taking
economic criteria too far or too exclusively, and recognition that the remit
of PSM is fundamentally normative.
The organisers invite proposals for papers that address relevant issues
related to these topics:
1. PSM Financing & Business models
In the traditional arrangement PSB is financed by public money. Approaches
to funding have become a hot topic and a focus of debate.
·     Is the traditional ‘business model’ best for PSM today? What are the
pros and cons of various alternatives or combinations?
·     Are new models emerging for different platforms or types of services?
·     How politically feasible and economically viable are various options?
·     Where is PSB / PSM sustainable, in what form/s and under what
·     What differences are essential when looking at countries that are only
beginning or trying to start PSB / PSM? Is the traditional institutional
approach as useful today, and where are there significant developments and
2. PSM Structures & Production
This sector has undergone a dramatic shift from mainly in-house production
with hierarchical structures and mostly permanent employees with civil
servant status, to pursue outsourcing, temporary or freelance contracts,
flat organisations, and business-like approaches that favour cost reduction
and efficiency.
·     Does this produce better value? What are the trade-offs?
·     What is essential to understand about the economic foundations of PSM
as a financial organisation, despite its non-profit status?
·     What do we know about trends in the volume and percentages of
programme output and production, number of employees under various contract
categories, in different areas and positions, with what productivity gains
and losses, etc?
·     What is important to know about copyright issues and intellectual
·     How is media work changing in PSM companies, and with what
·     Where is local production still viable, and why? Where isn’t it
viable, and why?
3. PSM policy and accountability
The commercial sector claims PSM is causing market distortion that disturbs
a ‘level playing field’. Politicians and other stakeholders are keen for the
public sector to be more transparent and accountable.
·     What is most important to know and respond to in policy debate about
these issues?
·     What new measures are recommended to improve accountability?
·     Which approaches to ex ante evaluation work best, and which are not
working? Is there evidence that the approach is counter-productive?
·     How much is all of this costing and what do we know about cost/benefit
·     In what ways has the New Public Management approach improved or
undermined public value?
·     Can public value be measured? How, at what cost, and with what
4. Defining ‘Public Value’ in PSM today
Traditionally PSB was expected to provide information, education and
entertainment, and to strongly emphasise domestic culture and national
identity. Reconceptualising what the PS in PSM means and consists of today
is a pressing need.
·     What counts as ‘public value’ today, and how is it both different from
and the same as historic understandings? Are there discernable periods that
characterise shared understanding? Are there significant patterns of
consistency or variation when comparing countries, regions, or discourse in
different languages, etc?
·     Where has reinterpretation of historic meanings been successful, how
and why, and what remains problematic?
·     Have there been consequences for the profile and character of service
provision as a consequence of new conceptualisation?
·     Has anything been lost or neglected that needs to be revitalised?
·     What is not good value for public money today and ought to end? Where
and why?
·     What is still vital in the historic PSB mission that must be protected
and also nurtured? 
5. Improving PSM value
The move from PSB to PSM has not been smooth or even. While governments
traditionally expect the sector to support technological development and the
creation of digital content, the costs and effects have been unpredictable
and in many cases controversial.
·     Where has PSM contributed to market development? Where has it improved
mediated services as a result of innovation? Where is it lagging? Where is
it a problem for developing public value in media due to institutional
·     What has PSM created that is new compared to PSB? What is distinctive
compared to the private commercial sector?
·     How is PSM responding to social media on the basis of lessons learned?
In what ways are these companies contributing to or inhibiting development
in this area?
·     Are there clear gains in efficiencies or effectiveness in the shift to
·     What is essential for PSM to be viable and sustainable? How does this
differ in comparing countries, regions and communities?
 6. PSM value for audiences and users
In social reality and research schema, media audiences are more complex and
complicated than was the case historically, often also more contradictory in
the light of multiple identities.
·     What are the implications related to public value when defining
audiences in varied terms (e.g. as citizens, consumers, customers, clients,
tax-payers, markets, etc)?
·     Are there convincing arguments for supporting collective needs and
social welfare given the growth of individual choice and personal
preference? How can that be articulated to have real impact?
·     How is audience research changing, and with what consequences and
impact for doing PSM?
·     How should contradictions and complexity in identities be
conceptualised? Are certain formulations most suitable for PSM?
·     What does the evidence reveal regarding re-valuation of audiences as
participants in PSM? In what ways are historic valuations still relevant?
What needs to be developed?
·     Provide the working title of the paper and include your name,
organisational affiliation with location, and e-mail address on a cover
·     Write the abstract on a separate page that only includes the title of
the paper and specify which of the 6 topics (above) your paper would
contribute to (you may specify more than one)
·     The maximum length for the abstract is 600 words
·     Proposals are due on or before January 11, 2012
All submissions will be peer reviewed as the basis for acceptance. Reviewers
will use the following criteria to assess proposals:
1.  Relevance to the conference theme and connection to at least one
specified topic
2.  Conceptual and analytic quality (not purely descriptive)
3.  Importance of the contribution for contemporary theory in PSB / PSM
4.  Relevance of the contribution for PSM practice and management
5.  Comparative research is highly desired.
6.  Empirical research is prioritised.
7.  Broadening the scope beyond Europe is welcome.
Sixty proposals will be accepted for papers to be presented in the
conference. Decisions to accept or reject will be taken in February with
notification sent on or about March 1, 2012. Please send your proposal as an
e-mail attachment to both of the following:
 Gregory Ferrell Lowe, University of Tampere in Finland <glowe at pp.inet.fi>
 Anne Dunn, University of Sydney  <anne.dunn at sydney.edu.au>
The conference registration fee will be €250 for authors. The fee does not
include payment for accommodation, but does cover the cost for shared meals
and conference materials. For those attending but not presenting, the
registration fee is €300 and space is limited. A select number of doctoral
students can be included and the fee in these cases will be €100. The RIPE
conference does not have funds to supplement personal travel costs except
for invited keynote speakers. For more information, please visit our
website: www.ripeat.org <http://www.ripeat.org> .

DR FIONA MARTIN | Senior Lecturer in Convergent and Online Media
Department of Media and Communications |  School of Letters Arts and Media
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Rm 205, Holme Building A09 | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006
T +61 2 9036 5098   | F +61 2 9351 5444 | M +61 428 391 122
E fiona.martin at sydney.edu.au
Skype: thirroul41 
W http://www.arts.usyd.edu.au/media_communications

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