Objective, trustworthy news from different European countries delivered in real-time to the public in the local language, this was the goal that the EBU and 11 Members aimed to achieve with ‘A European Perspective’. At the outset, partners combated disinformation about Covid and now they are sharing reliable news on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
In just eight months, public service media editors have shared more than 6,500 stories. Of these, 5,400 were picked up by counterparts in newsrooms across Europe and published on national public service media (PSM) websites. Viewers responded, with over 45 million views of ’A European Perspective’ reports. These original stories have received almost 100 million impressions, sharing headlines and logos of reliable news sources from throughout Europe to the viewing public.
On 15 March 2022, participating broadcasters met in Brussels to evaluate their achievements.
Eric Scherer, Head of Innovation and International Relations at FRTV says: “First launched in the depths of Covid, in July 2021, no one expected what was to come. We knew this project had value, but there was no way to know if the public would respond. We are evaluating the audience response, but we can already see that there is an appreciation for unique, personal and often local stories from other countries. The ones you will not get watching general international coverage. We are enabling Europeans to get a new and balanced perspective on the news. The war in Ukraine highlights how a diversity of viewpoints is essential to allow people to create their own, well-informed opinion. This is media freedom at its best.”
Wouter Gekiere, Head of Brussels Office at the EBU says: “‘A European Perspective’ merges trusted news with the latest AI translation and smart recommendation tools. It also features cooperation across borders for a more cohesive and better-informed Europe. It is a game changer and reminds us all of the true role of public service media and how they are upholding the European fundamental rights of media freedom and freedom of expression while also fighting disinformation.”
As Russia attacked Ukraine, editors shared 350 stories mostly on this crisis during the week before and after 24 February. As news consumption increased everywhere, articles recommended in the ‘A European Perspective’ box gathered 10 million headline and logo impressions, and the number of average readers more than doubled.
‘A European Perspective’ has further shared where to find reliable, trusted media across borders. When looking for news in neighboring countries, the public will remember the names and logos of participating EBU Members. This cross-promotion is a first, highlighting the strongly collaborative spirit in this project, for example by showcasing content produced in Portugal to a Finnish audience.
A Finnish viewer speaks: “This is exactly the kind of service I expect from a public broadcasting company. For me, this made the Yle fee more reasonable and improved Yle’s reputation as a news source.” Said a participant in a Finnish audience survey conducted by Yle about ‘A European Perspective’.
“A European Perspective” brings together public service media who share online news content that offers their audiences fresh insight into pan-European issues.
Participating public service media contribute to a news recommendation service that helps European citizens contextualize trending stories and better understand how neighbouring countries are coping with these challenges.
This initiative’s backbone is supported by EBU technology. Each participating organization shares its stories through a Digital News Hub, where they are translated into multiple languages using the EBU's EuroVOX tool and robust editorial workflows.
Then the Eurovision News Monitoring Tool allows participating broadcasters to monitor online content produced by their counterparts in real-time, using AI-assisted translation, automatic content recommendation tools (PEACH) and filters to identify items of interest that will resonate with national audiences.
This EBU-led initiative includes Members from Belgium (RTBF), Finland (Yle), France (France Télévisions), Germany (BR-ARD), Ireland (RTÉ), Italy (RAI), Portugal (RTP), Spain (RTVE), Swedish Radio (SR)Switzerland (SWI swissinfo.ch) as well as ARTE, the Franco-German broadcaster.