Cultural and regional remits in broadcasting

IRIS Plus,
01 January 2006, Belgium

The term “culture” comes from the Latin cultura which simply meant farming: the tending of crops and the rearing of stock. In the 17th century the meaning shifted to denote education for life in society, knowledge of the arts and how to live respectably. Eventually the word entered into the popular vocabulary where it took on a wider signification.

Whereas, in the past, culture stood for a range of social objectives, it is primarily understood today to denote regionally differentiated ideas about specific aspects – formal and substantive – of social existence. Inevitably, therefore, culture also plays a role in the media – and the media, of course, are a major influence on society.

It has to be said that defining the conceptions of culture which shape particular media is far from straightforward. Moreover, whether by chance or as a logical result of the ever-expanding signification of the word, such conceptions continue to differ from country to country and region to region. This edition of IRIS plus explores how broadcasters’ remits may be closely bound up with culture and geography. In particular, the following article focuses on legal stipulations about respect for culture and territorial
specificities, which have been the subject of transnational or regional agreements.