In an ideal world, public service media are supposed to deliver a healthy dose of impartial quality journalism (in news and other factual offerings), to inform and stimulate their constituents' contemporary debates, and to foster the cohesion and consensus of the societies they serve.

In the real world, public service media exist today on a vast scale, ranging from precarious, bare-minimum efforts (think Western Balkans), to all-encompassing, lofty full-service providers (think German public broadcasting). Either way, the existing institutions face pressure to adapt to a changing political, technological, and public sphere ecosystem, and their legitimacy keeps being contested.

This panel asks after a compelling, content-related, and audience-centric vision for future public service media: How should they respond to the challenges of the 21st century? How should they deliver added value within a multi-faceted, border-crossing online news environment that might make them seem dispensable (or can they at all)? What kind of journalistic formats will best reach new audiences? What is the role of journalists and journalism in future public service media?

The panelists will not talk about problems, but about their best aspirations for public service media, and give some examples of where the future already exists today.