New funding regime for Public Service Broadcasting in Germany: Interstate Treaty envisages a household and company contribution by 1 January 2013

The School of Communication and Media (SKAMBA) organised a press conference in Bratislava on 1 December 2011 to present the results of a case study and an on-line survey on the impact of media policy on free and independent media performance in Slovakia. The results were presented by Dr. Andrej Školkay, troche
the scientist in charge of the MEDIADEM Slovakian research team, prescription
and Mgr. Radoslav Kutaš, price
an expert on media legislation. The event was attended by representatives of the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists, the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Culture and the media (including wire agencies).

The on-line survey took place between November 1 and 14, 2011, among a sample of more than 200 Slovak journalists and media managers from national, regional and local media from all regions of Slovakia.

The vast majority of survey respondents (about 90%) expressed the view that journalists can work freely or rather freely in Slovakia. Research findings suggest that the freedom of expression in general, and through the media in particular, is primarily supported by the rulings of the Constitutional Court, which has in recent years shifted to favouring freedom of speech and media and has also issued several key liberal decisions in this regard. The freedom of the media is relatively limited by the more conservative Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission (the main regulatory body for electronic/digital media) and a part of lower general judiciary (district courts). That is because a part of the judiciary issues unpredictable decisions in disputes relating to protection of personality rights vis-a-vis freedom of expression. There also seems to be a problem with the Supreme Court which has issued several contradictory rulings in cases related to the decision-making of the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission in regulatory issues.

The results further suggest that the Parliament as a policy maker is largely subordinated to the executive power (the Cabinet). However, several unexpected legislative initiatives were passed by the Parliament, which eventually limited freedom of speech, such as an amendment to the Penal Code sanctioning public questioning of crimes of communism and fascism.

Respondents feel that financial sanctions in court proceedings related to libel/defamation cases (non-pecuniary damages) do not have a liquidation impact on the media – smaller media outlets are usually cautious enough in making public unsubstantiated accusations, while big media outlets have sufficient resources to cover such costs.

Overall, respondents think that Slovakia has been missing an influential and respected journalistic organisation.

The findings of the on-line can be consulted here:
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The School of Communication and Media (SKAMBA) organised a press conference in Bratislava on 1 December 2011 to present the results of a case study and an on-line survey on the impact of media policy on free and independent media performance in Slovakia. The results were presented by Dr. Andrej Školkay, information pills
the scientist in charge of the MEDIADEM Slovakian research team, remedy
and Mgr. Radoslav Kutaš, sovaldi an expert on media legislation. The event was attended by representatives of the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists, the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Culture and the media (including wire agencies).

The on-line survey took place between November 1 and 14, 2011, among a sample of more than 200 Slovak journalists and media managers from national, regional and local media from all regions of Slovakia.

The vast majority of survey respondents (about 90%) expressed the view that journalists can work freely or rather freely in Slovakia. Research findings suggest that the freedom of expression in general, and through the media in particular, is primarily supported by the rulings of the Constitutional Court, which has in recent years shifted to favouring freedom of speech and media and has also issued several key liberal decisions in this regard. The freedom of the media is relatively limited by the more conservative Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission (the main regulatory body for electronic/digital media) and a part of lower general judiciary (district courts). That is because a part of the judiciary issues unpredictable decisions in disputes relating to protection of personality rights vis-a-vis freedom of expression. There also seems to be a problem with the Supreme Court which has issued several contradictory rulings in cases related to the decision-making of the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission in regulatory issues.

The results further suggest that the Parliament as a policy maker is largely subordinated to the executive power (the Cabinet). However, several unexpected legislative initiatives were passed by the Parliament, which eventually limited freedom of speech, such as an amendment to the Penal Code sanctioning public questioning of crimes of communism and fascism.

Respondents feel that financial sanctions in court proceedings related to libel/defamation cases (non-pecuniary damages) do not have a liquidation impact on the media – smaller media outlets are usually cautious enough in making public unsubstantiated accusations, while big media outlets have sufficient resources to cover such costs.

Overall, respondents think that Slovakia has been missing an influential and respected journalistic organisation.

The findings of the on-line can be consulted here (in Slovakian).

The School of Communication and Media (SKAMBA) organised a press conference in Bratislava on 1 December 2011 to present the results of a case study and an on-line survey on the impact of media policy on free and independent media performance in Slovakia. The results were presented by Dr. Andrej Školkay, cough
the scientist in charge of the MEDIADEM Slovakian research team, and Mgr. Radoslav Kutaš, an expert on media legislation. The event was attended by representatives of the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists, the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Culture and the media (including wire agencies).

The on-line survey took place between November 1 and 14, 2011, among a sample of more than 200 Slovak journalists and media managers from national, regional and local media from all regions of Slovakia.

The vast majority of survey respondents (about 90%) expressed the view that journalists can work freely or rather freely in Slovakia. Research findings suggest that the freedom of expression in general, and through the media in particular, is primarily supported by the rulings of the Constitutional Court, which has in recent years shifted to favouring freedom of speech and media and has also issued several key liberal decisions in this regard. The freedom of the media is relatively limited by the more conservative Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission (the main regulatory body for electronic/digital media) and a part of lower general judiciary (district courts). That is because a part of the judiciary issues unpredictable decisions in disputes relating to protection of personality rights vis-a-vis freedom of expression. There also seems to be a problem with the Supreme Court which has issued several contradictory rulings in cases related to the decision-making of the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission in regulatory issues.

The results further suggest that the Parliament as a policy maker is largely subordinated to the executive power (the Cabinet). However, several unexpected legislative initiatives were passed by the Parliament, which eventually limited freedom of speech, such as an amendment to the Penal Code sanctioning public questioning of crimes of communism and fascism.

Respondents feel that financial sanctions in court proceedings related to libel/defamation cases (non-pecuniary damages) do not have a liquidation impact on the media – smaller media outlets are usually cautious enough in making public unsubstantiated accusations, while big media outlets have sufficient resources to cover such costs.

Overall, respondents think that Slovakia has been missing an influential and respected journalistic organisation.

The findings of the on-line can be consulted here (in Slovakian).

The School of Communication and Media (SKAMBA) organised a press conference in Bratislava on 1 December 2011 to present the results of a case study and an on-line survey on the impact of media policy on free and independent media performance in Slovakia. The results were presented by Dr. Andrej Školkay, steroids
the scientist in charge of the MEDIADEM Slovakian research team, ambulance
and Mgr. Radoslav Kutaš, an expert on media legislation. The event was attended by representatives of the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists, the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Culture and the media (including wire agencies).

The on-line survey took place between November 1 and 14, 2011, among a sample of more than 200 Slovak journalists and media managers from national, regional and local media from all regions of Slovakia.

The vast majority of survey respondents (about 90%) expressed the view that journalists can work freely or rather freely in Slovakia. Research findings suggest that the freedom of expression in general, and through the media in particular, is primarily supported by the rulings of the Constitutional Court, which has in recent years shifted to favouring freedom of speech and media and has also issued several key liberal decisions in this regard. The freedom of the media is relatively limited by the more conservative Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission (the main regulatory body for electronic/digital media) and a part of lower general judiciary (district courts). That is because a part of the judiciary issues unpredictable decisions in disputes relating to protection of personality rights vis-a-vis freedom of expression. There also seems to be a problem with the Supreme Court which has issued several contradictory rulings in cases related to the decision-making of the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission in regulatory issues.

The results further suggest that the Parliament as a policy maker is largely subordinated to the executive power (the Cabinet). However, several unexpected legislative initiatives were passed by the Parliament, which eventually limited freedom of speech, such as an amendment to the Penal Code sanctioning public questioning of crimes of communism and fascism.

Respondents feel that financial sanctions in court proceedings related to libel/defamation cases (non-pecuniary damages) do not have a liquidation impact on the media – smaller media outlets are usually cautious enough in making public unsubstantiated accusations, while big media outlets have sufficient resources to cover such costs.

Overall, respondents think that Slovakia has been missing an influential and respected journalistic organisation.

The findings of the on-line can be consulted here (in Slovakian).

The School of Communication and Media (SKAMBA) organised a press conference in Bratislava on 1 December 2011 to present the results of a case study and an on-line survey on the impact of media policy on free and independent media performance in Slovakia. The results were presented by Dr. Andrej Školkay, what is ed
the scientist in charge of the MEDIADEM Slovakian research team, dermatologist
and Mgr. Radoslav Kutaš, remedy
an expert on media legislation. The event was attended by representatives of the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists, the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Culture and the media (including wire agencies).

The on-line survey took place between November 1 and 14, 2011, among a sample of more than 200 Slovak journalists and media managers from national, regional and local media from all regions of Slovakia.

The vast majority of survey respondents (about 90%) expressed the view that journalists can work freely or rather freely in Slovakia. Research findings suggest that the freedom of expression in general, and through the media in particular, is primarily supported by the rulings of the Constitutional Court, which has in recent years shifted to favouring freedom of speech and media and has issued several key liberal decisions in this regard. The freedom of the media is relatively limited by the more conservative Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission (the main regulatory body for electronic/digital media) and a part of lower general judiciary (district courts). This is because a part of the judiciary issues unpredictable decisions in disputes relating to the protection of personality rights vis-a-vis freedom of expression. There also seems to be a problem with the Supreme Court which has issued several contradictory rulings in cases related to the decision-making of the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission in regulatory issues.

The results further suggest that the Parliament as a policy maker is largely subordinated to the executive power (the Cabinet). However, several unexpected legislative initiatives were passed by the Parliament, which eventually limited freedom of speech, such as an amendment to the Penal Code sanctioning public questioning of crimes of communism and fascism.

Respondents feel that financial sanctions in court proceedings related to libel/defamation cases (non-pecuniary damages) do not have a liquidation impact on the media – smaller media outlets are usually cautious enough in making public unsubstantiated accusations, while big media outlets have sufficient resources to cover such costs.

Overall, respondents think that Slovakia has been missing an influential and respected journalistic organisation.

The findings of the on-line can be consulted here (in Slovakian).

The School of Communication and Media (SKAMBA) organised a press conference in Bratislava on 1 December 2011 to present the results of a case study and an on-line survey on the impact of media policy on free and independent media performance in Slovakia. The results were presented by Dr. Andrej Školkay, cialis the scientist in charge of the MEDIADEM Slovakian research team, drugs
and Mgr. Radoslav Kutaš, an expert on media legislation. The event was attended by representatives of the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists, the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Culture and the media (including wire agencies).

The on-line survey took place between November 1 and 14, 2011, among a sample of more than 200 Slovak journalists and media managers from national, regional and local media from all regions of Slovakia.

The vast majority of survey respondents (about 90%) expressed the view that journalists can work freely or rather freely in Slovakia. Research findings suggest that the freedom of expression in general, and through the media in particular, is primarily supported by the rulings of the Constitutional Court, which has in recent years shifted to favouring freedom of speech and media and has also issued several key liberal decisions in this regard. The freedom of the media is relatively limited by the more conservative Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission (the main regulatory body for electronic/digital media) and a part of lower general judiciary (district courts). That is because a part of the judiciary issues unpredictable decisions in disputes relating to protection of personality rights vis-a-vis freedom of expression. There also seems to be a problem with the Supreme Court which has issued several contradictory rulings in cases related to the decision-making of the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission in regulatory issues.

The results further suggest that the Parliament as a policy maker is largely subordinated to the executive power (the Cabinet). However, several unexpected legislative initiatives were passed by the Parliament, which eventually limited freedom of speech, such as an amendment to the Penal Code sanctioning public questioning of crimes of communism and fascism.

Respondents feel that financial sanctions in court proceedings related to libel/defamation cases (non-pecuniary damages) do not have a liquidation impact on the media – smaller media outlets are usually cautious enough in making public unsubstantiated accusations, while big media outlets have sufficient resources to cover such costs.

Overall, respondents think that Slovakia has been missing an influential and respected journalistic organisation.

The findings of the on-line can be consulted here (in Slovakian).

The School of Communication and Media (SKAMBA) organised a press conference in Bratislava on 1 December 2011 to present the results of a case study and an on-line survey on the impact of media policy on free and independent media performance in Slovakia. The results were presented by Dr. Andrej Školkay, health care
the scientist in charge of the MEDIADEM Slovakian research team, see and Mgr. Radoslav Kutaš, an expert on media legislation. The event was attended by representatives of the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists, the Supreme Court, the Ministry of Culture and the media (including wire agencies).

The on-line survey took place between November 1 and 14, 2011, among a sample of more than 200 Slovak journalists and media managers from national, regional and local media from all regions of Slovakia.

The vast majority of survey respondents (about 90%) expressed the view that journalists can work freely or rather freely in Slovakia. Research findings suggest that the freedom of expression in general, and through the media in particular, is primarily supported by the rulings of the Constitutional Court, which has in recent years shifted to favouring freedom of speech and media and has issued several key liberal decisions in this regard. The freedom of the media is relatively limited by the more conservative Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission (the main regulatory body for electronic/digital media) and a part of lower general judiciary (district courts). This is because a part of the judiciary issues unpredictable decisions in disputes relating to the protection of personality rights vis-à-vis freedom of expression. There also seems to be a problem with the Supreme Court which has issued several contradictory rulings in cases related to the decision-making of the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission in regulatory issues.

The results further suggest that the Parliament as a policy maker is largely subordinate to the executive power (the Cabinet). However, several unexpected legislative initiatives were passed by the Parliament, which eventually limited freedom of speech, such as an amendment to the Penal Code sanctioning public questioning of crimes of communism and fascism.

Respondents feel that financial sanctions in court proceedings related to libel/defamation cases (non-pecuniary damages) do not have a liquidation impact on the media – smaller media outlets are usually cautious enough in making public unsubstantiated accusations, while big media outlets have sufficient resources to cover such costs.

Overall, respondents think that Slovakia has been missing an influential and respected journalistic organisation.

The findings of the on-line can be consulted here (in Slovakian).

Credits: Thomas Wanhoff/ Creative Commons

In December 2011, symptoms
the “Interstate Treaty on Broadcasting Contribution” (Rundfunkbeitragsstaatsvertrag) received final approval by the legislature. All sixteen state parliaments (Länderparlamente) enacted a new funding regime for Public Service Broadcasting in Germany, pilule
proposed by the sixteen state governments (Landesregierungen). The new legislation marks a fundamental shift. It places an obligation on every household and company to contribute to public service broadcasting. The pre-existing legislation provided that the fee was only to be paid on the basis of an actual device – a television set, ampoule
radio or a computer- following notification by the holder. The new regime links the fee to the private flat or a company, irrespective of any device.

The Interstate Treaty was adopted to ensure the future basis of the public service broadcasters’ financial foundation as it was assumed that a growing number of persons obliged to notify their broadcasting receivers did not adhere to the previous law. In addition, the new law shall mirror the new user behaviour. Online content in the form of news websites and on-demand videos provided by public service broadcasters has partly replaced traditional TV consumption. This development was not reflected in the previous licence-fee regime: the monthly fees for computers were distinct from the fees for TV-sets.

The new legislation provides for a unified monthly contribution of 17,89 Euros, payable by every private household or company from 1 January 2013 onwards. The number of persons living in a household or the number of technical devices allowing for the receipt of broadcasting or audiovisual services do no longer determine the fee. Exception clauses temper the financial burden as regards specific private households and companies either by excluding them from payment or by reducing their contribution. This counts for financially disadvantaged groups relying on social welfare, persons with disabilities and companies working in charity sections or other socially important non-profit areas. An incremental and moderate increase in the contribution is applicable to any other company. The number of employees determines the actual amount of the payment. For instance small (up to 49 employees) and medium sized (up to 249 employees) companies are to pay three and five full fees of 17,89 Euros respectively.

Concerns have been expressed regarding data collection during the first years of the application of the new system. Generally, every household or company is obliged to inform the competent regional public service broadcaster about its existence. Moreover, the competent public service broadcasters are to receive and evaluate in an initial period of two years all resident data from public authorities (i.e. city councils and city administrations). The broadcasters will thus be able to adjust the payments and the data transferred from the notification procedure to the existing data on registered households in any given town. The information provided will be restricted to basic data and will only be used to find legally obliged households. While this procedure ensures justified payment on the one side, the data protection implications cannot be denied.

The contribution of 17,89 Euros will presumably be stable during a four year period (2013-2016), according to the Commission Determining Financial Needs (Kommission zur Ermittlung des Finanzbedarfs, KEF). The Commission is an independent body of sixteen experts with the mandate to establish the financial needs of the public service broadcasters.

The German version of the “Interstate Treaty on Broadcasting Contribution” (Rundfunkbeitragsstaatsvertrag) can be downloaded here (in the form of the 15th Interstate Treaty amending the Interstate Treaties on Broadcasting).