Revolution or evolution? Public broadcasters in the digital era. The BBC example
Britain’s public broadcaster was one of the first in Europe to announce and introduce a new, digital service quality. Th e BBC began the process of broadly defined digitisation already in the late 1980s, preparing for a transition from an analogue to a digital broadcasting system, then expanding its offer to include new specialist programmes and, finally, using its Internet platform not only as a promotional tool but as yet another channel for its services. In 2006 Mark Thompson, Director-General of the BBC, announced the broadcaster’s “second wave of digital,” signalling its active and competitive participation in the new media. A few years later it turned out that global technological trends were effectively heading for universal convergence, leaving no unused space in communication services. Influenced by these trends and, above all, in response to the changing needs of its users, the BBC has created a kind of “hypermedia service,” a practically unlimited network of media services.