Broadcasting is arguably the most influential and powerful industry operating today.
The media impose an inescapable presence in contemporary life and infuse all areas of public communication.
But what is the quality of the relationship between 'broadcaster' and 'citizen'?
Do the media and media authorities take the audience's interests seriously into account?
Do audiences have real opportunities to express themselves?
Are citizens well informed and educated about the social, the cultural and the civic role that media can play?
In this book, five authors present the main results of an extensive programme of research that was financed by the European Commission.
The study was conducted in 29 European countries and each author analyses European trends from different but complementary perspectives: from the broadcasters' side (media accountability and responsibility, including the key role of Public Service Broadcasting); from the citizens' side (viewers' participation mechanisms) and from the regulatory side (legal instruments which protect viewer rights).
Given the historical experience of the United Kingdom, the situation in this country is analysed in detail. A specific chapter also describes the instruments and procedures that TV viewers have at the European Union level in addition to those existing at national level.