From May 18 to 19 2017, 40 representatives from more than 20 international broadcasters and members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) gathered in the Bulgarian capital Sofia to discuss the most pressing issues facing international broadcasting.
This year’s edition of the International Broadcasting Assembly was kindly hosted by Bulgarian National television (BNT). In her opening address, BNT Director General Mrs Vyara Ankova said: “This meeting is a great opportunity to show optimism, to exchange ideas and experience and to look for the best solutions to the challenges we face, led by the responsibility that we as public broadcasters have, to create meaning and values for the majority of our viewers, help solving problems and contribute to a positive change.”
EBU Member delegates shared up-to-date information and insights on the digital transformation, cyber security and the impact of public service media on society. Delegates also reflected on how public service media can counter distressing trends such as deteriorating press freedom and declining trust in the media.
Global press freedom has fallen to to its lowest point in 13 years, and trust in news sources, especially in mainstream media outlets has declined as more and more young people now rely on social media as a primary source of information.
"Fake news and propaganda on social media pose a huge threat to independent journalism and freedom of expression on the Internet," said the IBA chairman Klaus Bergmann (Deutsche Welle), underscoring the role of public service media in the digital age, "As the International Broadcasting Assembly at the EBU - the world's leading alliance of public service media, we bear a great responsibility for delivering unbiased, balanced and reliable information to our audiences and users around the world."
Europe-based international public broadcasters offer high-quality content on TV, radio and the Internet in a wide range of languages, targeting audiences and users worldwide, including those in countries where the access to free information is limited.
The EBU International Broadcasting Assembly, launched in 2015, provides member broadcasters a professional platform for exchange, encouraging dialogue between different cultures in Europe and other parts of the world. The Assembly is open to all EBU members, associates and approved participants with international broadcasting activities in areas of TV, radio and/or online.