The 2023 Gunnar Høidahl Award for Excellence in the Eurovision News Exchange (EVN) has been presented to the Eurovision News Desk of the EBU's Spanish Member, RTVE.
The Spanish national broadcaster continues to stand out as one of the EVN’s top members. Their highly professional team offers, as one of our editors put it, a “top level of engagement and the feeling that they are always looking out for us”. They are equally strong in domestic, foreign, and sports news coverage. They are also a major contributor of items in the climate category.
This is the second time RTVE has scooped this award in just four years. The broadcaster also won in 2020 for its outstanding coverage on and around the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the News Assembly session on 22 November, held in Tbilisi, Georgia, the prize was accepted by Asun Gomez Bueno, Director, International Relations, RTVE, and Vice Chair, EBU News Committee:
"This award is extremely important for RTVE as a media group as it means the resources we allocate to the Eurovision News Desk are worth it. These are not easy times for public service media but knowing the efforts made by the News Exchange department are recognised by the Geneva newsroom makes us very proud of our team. It also means that the commitment with EBU - and beyond - colleagues is kept at the highest level. We truly believe reciprocity is essential for the survival of the EVNs, the quality of the news bulletins and a fair service to our audience.”
She added, “We know our EVN desk colleagues work very hard and we are aware they need more staff. That makes this award even more important, as it rewards their efforts.”
Rosa Loriente, Head of the EVN Desk at RTVE, said, "Receiving an award is always important because it is the recognition of the work and effort you put in. But receiving the Gunnar Høidahl is especially gratifying because it is decided by the Geneva Newsroom, the colleagues who work with us every day. They are the ones who can best assess our work and the fact that this year they have considered that RTVE has deserved this award gives us a boost of confidence and energy to continue working.”
Special mention was also given to the other two shortlisted EBU Members:
LRT (Lithuania) stands out for their sterling work in the coverage of the NATO summit in Vilnius where they were instrumental, and their overall coverage of the war in Ukraine. Their domestic cover is also very strong and their overall commitment to the News Exchange is second to none.
NOS (The Netherlands) has been described as the “perfect member in so many ways”. Their planning and reliability when a major story breaks is top notch. They offer a huge variety of items, both domestic and foreign, 104 of which were selected as Editor’s Picks during the last year.
Watch the shortlist video
Emilio San Pedro, Head of Eurovision News Exchange, said: “RTVE is more than deserving of this accolade and they’ve earned it by their hard work and deep commitment to the core principles of the Eurovision News Exchange, especially the principle of reciprocity. They are not only extremely reactive when there’s a breaking news story, they often alert us to something that’s about to break or the timing of an upcoming event before we’ve even reached out to ask. They are our eyes and ears on everything that’s happening in Spain and not just news but sports, climate, and the arts as well. And they are a top contributor of their foreign reporting from conflict and natural disaster zones. They are nothing less than an ideal member and we salute them!”
The Gunnar Høidahl prize is awarded annually at the News Assembly. Nominees are put forward by the EBU's Geneva news editors and the winner is selected by the entire News Exchange team.
The Eurovision News Exchange supports Members in delivering the most relevant news coverage through round-the-clock access to live and edited news stories, as they happen. It’s the largest video and audio news exchange of its kind, providing broadcast services for journalists worldwide, and is a unique service, based on the shared values of solidarity, reciprocity, and cooperation between EBU Members who have been sharing news content every day since 1962.