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The Eurovision News Exchange Social Newswire: The EBU's first line of defence in breaking news

27 November 2019
The Eurovision News Exchange Social Newswire: The EBU's first line of defence in breaking news

In the era of post-truth and information disorder, the news industry finds itself in a transformative state. 

With hundreds of hours of video uploaded to social platforms every minute, eyewitness media is playing an ever-increasing role within the newsroom. Video from bystanders and activists emerges from across the world in its rawest form, in real time, as events unfold. But it is not always possible for newsrooms to discover, verify and clear this content for purpose.

In 2017, the EBU news team responded to Member requests to add value to their newsrooms and help them harness the power of reliable eyewitness media for their platforms. 

The Eurovision Social Newswire (ESN) is the EBU’s News Exchange service which serves as an extension of EBU Member’s newsrooms - providing the most important eyewitness media in real time.

The ESN is a community-based interactive newswire with a membership of over 2,000 journalists, editors and producers, collaborating in real time to discover, verify and clear the most newsworthy eyewitness media. 

Since February 2017, the ESN has verified and cleared over 40,000 pieces of content - both video and images - for Members for use in broadcast, online players and social media platforms. The ESN's performance in responding to breaking news has been one of its key successes to date, with many EBU Members incorporating the newswire into their team's daily workflows.     



The ESN offers participating EBU Members several tiers of support, with each one playing a pivotal role in supporting Members editorial activities.

Dedicated collaborative platform: The ESN exists on its own webspace a collaborative workspace tool which allows easy communication between thousands of Members and the easy-sharing and downloading of verified videos and images by Members. Members can also use the Eurovision Social Newswire on mobile through the mobile-enabled site - making sure Members can stay up-to-date with the Newswire on the go.

Cleared content: All the content which appears on the ESN is provided with important verification information such as the date and location where the content was filmed and the context behind the content. All the content comes with the express permission of the originator for use of the content by EBU Members on all platforms with the required courtesy. The content is broken down into particular regions and specific topics, making it easier for Members to see the latest published content and monitor on-going stories of interest. 

Verification support: The ESN team is on hand to field verification requests and queries from Members, however, with such a collaborative community already existing on the Newswire, Members and EBU staff often work together to provide the answers to requests.

News alerts direct to your device: The ESN offers breaking news and important content information alerts through its Member-only Telegram group

Latest content newsletters: Each day, the ESN team publishes two content update newsletters, making sure Members are aware of the content at their disposal

Twitter lists: The ESN team has built more than 500 Twitter lists. These lists, ranging from country, city, and niche topic, are used by the ESN team and Members to monitor stories and bring newsroms closer to a story, quickly.

The Journalist's Toolbox: The Journalist's Toolbox is a section within the Eurovision Social Newswire where Members can learn about the tools and techniques used by the ESN team to discover, verify and clear content. These step-by-step guides allow Members to build upon their own skills and share what they've learned with their own newsroom. 


What to expect each day

Each morning, the Eurovision Social Newswire team provides Members with a morning outlook of the main stories they are chasing for content. Each individual story is accompanied by a relevant Twitter list to aid members in their search for content.

Throughout the day, the ESN is populated with content in real time, with Members being able to download the content, verification information and context directly from one platform.

Agile Newsroom

The Eurovision Social Newswire Agile Newsroom, which is an annual eyewitness media and social newsgathering event, sees knowledge and skill-sharing between journalists, while working in a real-time newsroom environment to discover, verify and clear content for use. Last year's edition saw 60 journalists from 31 Members form a newsroom in Sarajevo - verifying and clearing over 370 pieces of content in just three days. 

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While many conferences involve PowerPoints, keynotes and Q&A sessions, the Agile Newsroom breaks the mould in favour of an interactive learning and working experience. A fully-functional working newsroom. No lectures, no speeches - just good old fashioned (well, modern) journalism. 

Why should I join and where do I sign up?

We encourage staff members from all EBU Member organizations to sign up. Whether you are a journalist, editor, producer, content creator or special events coordinator, we are confident that the Eurovision Social Newswire will enhance your organization's output.

Getting started with the Eurovision Social Newswire could not be easier. Simply navigate to and register for access, using your EBU Member email to join the Newswire. Upon sign-up, users receive a welcome email, which includes tutorial videos and a user guide to help get you started.

These will help you get up to speed with the simple processes we have designed to make the Eurovision Social Newswire an easy, yet immersive experience.

Looking forward to seeing you on the Eurovision Social Newswire!

Relevant links and documents


Derek Bowler

Head of Social Newsgathering