European PSB news-sharing initiative

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Ten public service broadcasters (PSBs) are set to change the way in which Europeans consume news by using online tools to overcome language barriers and share diverse content from across the continent.

Led by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the broadcasters are launching ‘A European Perspective’, a collaborative news service that enables audiences to access trusted content from other countries through a curated online feed.

Participating organisations are able to display the dedicated feed – or widget – on their homepages or within any given article, thereby underlining the growing importance of offering a European perspective on public service news coverage.

This wealth of stories will help European citizens contextualise trending topics such as the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and migration, and better understand how neighbouring countries are tackling these challenges.

In a world where audiences are overwhelmed by an avalanche of information that has no editorial or ethical guardrails, ‘A European Perspective’ will serve as a beacon of trust and integrity. Its content will be deeply rooted in core European values such as respect for human dignity, equality, inclusion and the rule of law.

Through this initiative, EBU Members from Belgium (RTBF), Finland (YLE), France (France Télévisions), Germany (BR/ARD), Ireland (RTÉ), Italy (RAI), Portugal (RTP), Spain (RTVE) and Switzerland (SWI swissinfo.ch) as well as ARTE, the Franco-German broadcaster, are poised to reshape the European digital sphere by offering their online readers access to stories that explore the many facets of the European identity.

The ten public media organisations are able to select and publish each other’s content through a bespoke digital news hub that uses AI technology to translate the reports into multiple languages. The service is underpinned by the EBU’s PEACH system for recommendations and the EuroVOX toolkit for automated language services.

‘A European Perspective’ will be rolled out incrementally starting on July 1st when the service will be launched.

The benefits will be immediately apparent. For example, a visitor to francetvinfo.fr will be able to see a French translation of a news story that has just been published by the Finnish public broadcaster, YLE, without leaving the French site. Readers in Portugal will be able to find out how the Irish, Spanish and Italian governments have responded to the latest twist in the COVAX saga – all in a language that they understand.

In-depth reporting sourced from partner organisations will keep local audiences informed of the most recent developments in pan-European stories while the editors at each broadcaster will use their insight into the needs and interests of local audiences to make sure that the selected content is both relevant and compelling.

‘A European Perspective’ will provide a window on the rest of the continent, thereby helping nations speak to nations. As a lens through which audiences can compare their experiences with those of their peers, it will act as a counterbalance to disinformation campaigns aimed at exploiting fault-lines between communities.

“After 60 years of successful video news exchanges between EBU Members, it was time to do the same for digital news items while using the latest digital technologies for our respective online services,” stated Eric Scherer, Director of Innovation and International Affairs at France TV.

“We will now be able to fully leverage the power and scale of our vast international network anchored in a new internal Eurovision content-sharing platform where public service media have the same values and news ethics. This is a crucial step for our newsrooms.”

“Through the project, public service media will be able to bring their contribution to society to the next level by ensuring that the trusted, impactful journalism they produce transcends national borders and reaches new audiences,” added Asun Gomez-Bueno, Director of International Relations at RTVE.

‘A European Perspective’ has been made possible through a grant from the European Commission’s Multimedia Actions programme. It is co-funded by the EBU.

In the framework of the EU-funded project, ‘A European Perspective’ is complemented by a second Europe-wide content offer, ‘The European Collection’, which is managed by ARTE. ‘The European Collection’ is a curated selection of documentaries, magazine shows and reports focusing on European politics and society.


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