Public and commercial broadcasters met February 19th in Brussels at the invitation of European Parliament President Antonio Tajani. With European broadcasting being increasingly impacted by largely unregulated global online platforms, they say it is critical that action is taken to ensure citizens have easy access to trusted news and information.
Following a discussion focused on the media ecosystem and the fight against disinformation, the Association of Commercial Television in Europe and the European Broadcasting Union respective memberships have called on the European institutions to:
“News is the beating heart of European democracies,” they declare. “Insufficient access to quality information and journalism imperils our elections and ultimately endangers our society by progressively driving a wedge between people.”
“TV and radio remain the most trusted media in Europe. Broadcasters bring people together and inform them in line with the highest editorial standards, to ensure plurality and diversity of perspectives and opinions,” they state.
“Online disinformation is the most visible element of a broader information disorder which requires strong leadership from industry and government while finding a balance to avoid censorship. Measures to fight disinformation should not silence critical voices or undermine pluralism,” they contend.
“A thorough evaluation is needed to assess online platform responsibility as well as the choice of instruments to ensure European audiences have access to quality information and that a level playing field is established. This means defining roles and rules for online platforms, as is the case with many sectors across the EU, including TV,” they suggest.
“In light of the need to act and create a healthy online environment, broadcasters are hoping European institutions will take the necessary policy action,” they conclude.