The EBU has made available a new beta service News Monitoring Tool for Members of the Eurovision News Exchange, providing real-time insight into the diverse range of online news from across Europe’s public service media (PSM) newsrooms.
The Eurovision News Monitoring Tool is a window to content, built on universality, diversity, excellence and innovation. With more than 40,000 journalists, PSM collectively make up Europe’s largest newsroom, and this new strategic push aims to increase their impact, reach and equity.
"This initiative is the best news we could share. Public service media means more than content, more than technology...it means clarity, experience, a huge network, trustworthy information, and many other concepts. Putting everything together, this Monitoring Tool will take us all to a new and better level of contribution to society, which is, in short, our main aim," says Asun Gomez Bueno, Director of International Relations, RTVE.
The tool is the result of the work of the EBU and 14 of its Members* who in early 2020 began to pilot a collaborative way of sharing digital news content among themselves. The development of the Monitoring Tool proof of concept was co-chaired by Asun Gomez Bueno and Eric Scherer, Director of Innovation and International Affairs at France TV, together with Justyna Kurczabinska (EBU Project Owner and Senior Manager of News Exchange News Strategy) and Sébastien Noir, Head of Software Development for EBU Technology & Innovation.
“After 60 years of successful video news exchanges between EBU Members, it was time to do the same for news items while using the latest digital technologies for our respective online services. We will now be able to fully leverage the power and scale of our vast international network in building a new internal Eurovision news agency where public service media have the same values and news ethics. This is a crucial step for our newsrooms.” says Eric Scherer.
Justyna Kurczabinska adds: "The principle of the Monitoring Tool is to share online news for information, the content is not copyright cleared for republishing in this phase. It is not a digital News Exchange but more a news intelligence tool, providing a new service to the already existing broad range of the Eurovision News portfolio.
Currently the tool is collecting an average of more than 750 news items (text and video) daily. These are all machine-translated into English thanks to the EuroVOX software, other languages are available on request. The application allows editors to filter the content by categories (sports, environment, politics, science, etc.), by source and by date. Text queries can be entered to search for specific keywords. And, in addition, PEACH, a personalization and recommendation ecosystem also created by EBU Members, keeps control over the algorithms that surface content.
Benoit Balon-Perin, News Committee Chair and RTBF's Innovation & Workflows Manager says, "The exchange of content between its Members is one of the pillars of the EBU. The Eurovision News Monitoring Tool will take this exchange to a new level. Having first-hand access to the trusted news content of our partners will allow EBU Members to enhance their news offer, anchoring it in PSM values."
“The tool can be a great asset in researching specific stories. The translated news pieces from across Europe can both provide deeper knowledge and inspire new approaches in our own coverage,” says Olle Zachrison, Head of Digital News Development, SR.
The News Committee, the governing body of the Eurovision News Exchange, has awarded the project a year’s funding on behalf of all the Members, using the News Earmarked Reserve.
Atte Jääskeläinen, former Editorial Project Manager of the Monitoring Tool and former Director of News and Current Affairs at YLE, emphasizes: “This, if we succeed - and it will not be a short journey – will enable us to create much stronger impact than any single company can do, but there is one key logic in platforms operation. It is more valuable when more Members are in and the more data and content it offers.”
The tool is open to all Members participating in the News Exchange and those radio-only organizations willing to share their content. The application builds on the PEACH suite of recommendation tools and EuroVOX toolkit for automated transcription and translation, developed by EBU Technology & Innovation in collaboration with EBU Members.
*ARD/Tagesschau, ARTE, BR, DW, FranceTV, RAI, RTBF, RTE, RTP, RTVE, SR, Swissinfo (SSR SRG), YLE, ZDF