From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Public broadcasting is a form of public service broadcasting (PSB) intended to serve the diverse needs of the listening public. Except for the United States, it has traditionally been the dominant form of broadcasting in much of the world.
It is a system in which radio, television, and potentially other electronic media outlets receive some or all of their funding from the public. The broadcasters' funds can come directly from individuals through voluntary donations, license fees, or indirectly as state subsidies that originated as taxes. Many public broadcasters supplement this with contributions from corporations, in return for underwriting spots. While these announcements resemble traditional advertisements on commercial broadcasting stations, there are usually limitations, such as a prohibition of making product claims, stating prices, or providing an incentive to buy.
Commercial broadcasting now occurs in many countries around the world, and the number of countries with only public broadcasting has declined substantially. The mass media marketplace is tremendously competitive, and as such, it can be difficult for a public service broadcaster to survive amongst commercial interests. This may become even more of an issue with the increased number of channels that digital broadcasting provides.
Notable public broadcasters