Universit├Ąt Z├╝rich

IKMZ - Department of Communication and Media Research

Media Change & Innovation Division

Andreasstrasse 15
CH-8050 Zurich
Phone +41 (0)44 635 20 92
Fax +41 (0)44 634 49 34

SRG Online Assessment 2009: Assessing PSB's Compliance with Regulatory Requirements

Online services of public service broadcasters in Europe are disputed because they are in direct competition with online activities of private broadcaster and publishers. While the discussions are similar across European countries, the regulatory responses by national governments differ. In Switzerland a charter lays down the conditions for the online activities of the Swiss public broadcaster (SRG) and clarifies what kind of content is permissible. We have conducted a research project commissioned by the Swiss regulator BAKOM to assess the SRG’s compliance with these regulatory requirements. For this endeavor we have (1) developed an analytical approach for the external assessment, and conducted (2) a content analysis to give insights into the structure and functioning of the websites of five SRG enterprise units, and (3) a link analysis to capture the intensity of electronic linking and the pattern of interconnection with other websites (link structure). The paper shows the potential of the developed analytical tools and the extent to which the SRG websites comply with regulatory requirements.