At a time when mutual understanding across Europe has never been more important, the EBU-led digital news service, A European Perspective, is stepping up its efforts to offer citizens multilingual coverage of important stories, drawing on content that Editorials are produced by 12 public services.
After its hugely successful launch in 2022, the content offering has broken new ground, making better use of automated translation software and AI-driven recommendation tools to serve audiences that are increasingly turning to trusted information from national broadcasters.
In the next phase of this initiative, the contributing media cohort stands ready to welcome new members, enact a social media strategy aimed at reaching young people, and develop a content-based algorithm that values the public service includes.
Phase I of A European Perspective launched in July 2021 – bringing together 11 public service broadcasters and the EBU to share objective, trusted news from across the continent, all delivered online to the public in real-time in their local language. Over 6,500 stories were shared on their websites in the first eight months of the project. With over 45 million views, public interest is clear. Broadcasters can display a dedicated newsfeed on their home pages or in each article to meet the growing need for a European perspective on public service reporting.
Phase II of the project will build on this success and continue to develop the innovative work around online news sharing for another 14 months. A new social media strategy aims to increase public engagement and reach new, younger audiences, and it will also boost the development of a public service journalism algorithm. Both phases of this innovation project are co-financed by the European Commission.
“Viewers don’t know who to trust when they watch the news,” said Delphine Ernotte-Cunci, President of the EBU and CEO of France Télévisions. “Our goal is to build a networked pan-European newsroom based on public service values and high journalistic standards.”
“A European perspective brings a variety of perspectives to both local stories and global headlines. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we saw how connected reporting across Europe, in real time and translated into local languages, helped the public get a more informed view of what was happening. So this project is a game changer.”
“Understanding the world has never been more important,” said Jon Williams, Managing Director of RTÉ News & Current Affairs. “And that starts in our own backyard. Post Brexit, a ‘European perspective’ has increased the reach and diversity of our storytelling for Irish audiences – it has also resulted in RTÉ’s stories about Ireland being consumed by diverse audiences across Europe.”
“As we double our global footprint and be awarded the JTI seal – Europe’s standard for trustworthy journalism – a ‘European perspective’ is another way we can help our audiences understand the context and the pieces of the puzzle better and better put together complex and turbulent world.”
A European Perspective builds on systems used by the Eurovision News Monitoring Tool to share viewpoints from across Europe in a seamless and user-friendly way. The EBU’s PEACH recommendation system uses algorithms to display relevant articles, while the EBU’s AI-powered EuroVOX application provides automated translation.
Together, these tools help to overcome language and cultural barriers and make an important contribution to society and democracy. In phase II of the project, these applications will be refined and further developed to further facilitate the exchange of messages.
New partners will join the initiative and the potential for developing distribution partnerships with institutions that share a public service mindset – such as cultural organisations, libraries, think tanks and universities – will be explored. Journalism schools will also be invited to participate in a series of PSM News Innovation Labs. All contribute to the creation of a European public sphere.
The initiative will also benefit from new editorial contributions that will strengthen the brand and broaden its appeal, including:
- pan-European multimedia feature stories contributed by Agence France Presse
- a European pilot of RTÉ’s Brainstorm initiative, giving the academic and research community the opportunity to contribute to the public discourse
- a larger role for France Télévisions, which will share its pioneering fact-checking systems
- News sharing complemented by content from the Eurovision Social Newswire, working in real-time with EBU members to uncover and verify the most newsworthy eyewitness media
Led by the EBU in Brussels, this initiative includes members from Belgium (RTBF), Estonia (ERR), Finland (Yle), France (France Télévisions), Germany (BR-ARD), Ireland (RTÉ), Italy (Eurovision Italy, RAI ), Portugal (RTP), Spain (RTVE), Sweden (SR), Switzerland (SWI swissinfo.ch) as well as the German-French broadcaster ARTE, the Constructive Institute from Denmark and Agence France Presse (AFP).