The 68th Prix Italia - Historytelling, Now - closed at the weekend with a debate on the responsibilities of public service media when reporting on the refugee crisis.
Prix Italia, the oldest festival of television in the world, was held for the first time in Lampedusa which has been the gateway to Europe for over 300,000 migrants and refugees in recent years.
The debate, chaired by RAI President and EBU Vice-President Monica Maggioni, featured Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans and Italian Foreign Affairs Minister Paolo Gentiloni discussing the responsibility of the media in providing honest and accurate coverage of the refugee crisis. As well as reporting on the numbers entering the European Union and the circumstances of their arrival, the media has a duty to provide the context of why so many are fleeing their home lands. Timmermans said that public service media must play the chords of rational and fact-checking tools instead of emotional ones.
The debate, which preceded the premiere of RAI’s film on the refugee crisis Fuocammare, was the finale of an intense four days. In a new format, the Awards included discussions on VR in newsgathering and Big Data among other new initiatives. A team of young media professionals from across the world also received mobile journalism training from the Eurovison Academy to produce content for a new digital platform telling refugees’ stories
BBC Head of Radio and former Director of News Helen Boaden also used the event to announce her retirement after 30 years of service. She spoke passionately about the need for the ‘slow’ medium of radio to be encouraged on whatever platform it is heard: “Slow Journalism which is engaging and dynamic of course but embodies impartiality, accuracy, expertise and evidence; the things which take time and resource.”