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We need to innovate everywhere, all the time 

23 November 2023
Portrait of Pierre-Olivier Volet, Editor in Chief, TV News at EBU Member, SRG
Pierre-Olivier Volet, Editor-in-Chief, TV News, SRG

Picture a room full of top broadcast media executives. Are you there? Television is said to be dying. Indeed, it is going through difficult times. But has it said its last word? To find out, we ask our executives.

They have to answer a simple question: Are you prepared to give up your flagship news bulletin altogether in favour of digital? I wouldn’t be taking a big risk if I bet that most of them would say no. 

Because television news remains the benchmark, the calling card of the company.

The media landscape is certainly changing. Just as cable television led to an explosion in the number of channels and increased competition, the web and the emergence of social networks, combined with the invention of the smartphone, have led to a further splintering of audiences.

Yet flagship news bulletin are still there. And several EBU members have just invested in new studios as we finalize this report. In a world where there are sometimes as many visions of information as there are citizens living in it, major broadcast media remain a point of reference. 

We have felt this need to share a common reality even more acutely recently, when we faced the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic or at the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

It is our responsibility to keep alive this legacy of television’s great hours, to bring it up to date, to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the public. Will the news be watched for much longer in the evening after a day’s work, on the family sofa, in religious silence? We know they won’t. 

Today, flagship news bulletins are consumed on demand: on the big screen, on our smartphones, anytime, anywhere. In full, in chunks, according to the time and interests of each and every one of us.

The task of the executives of broadcast media would be easier if all they had to do was stop producing television and invest everything in formats created for digital. But it’s not that simple. 

We need to innovate everywhere at once: in purely digital formats AND in traditional offerings. That’s why we wanted to carry out the study you are about to discover: what are the trends, what will television news look like in 5- or 10-years’ time? What do we need to invest in? 

Many EBU members have asked themselves this question. And there are plenty of (good) ideas. The future is already here. Let yourself be inspired!

Prologue to The Future of the TV News Bulletin by Pierre-Olivier Volet, Editor-in-Chief, SRG, is reproduced with kind permission from the author.

The Future of the TV News Bulletin

This is the go-to guide for newsrooms, editors, and journalists navigating the transformation of TV news. As the spotlight intensifies on this staple of news programming, the pressure is real. How do we keep TV news bulletins not just relevant but indispensable for today’s audiences and their evolving needs?

Through in-depth interviews with 10 senior news managers from public service media across Europe, the report highlights their choices, innovations and perspectives. It unravels the challenges and opportunities faced by traditional news formats, and presents a forward-looking analysis, with key takeaways for news executives on how to adapt and thrive, capturing the pulse of an industry at the crossroads of tradition and innovation.  

Relevant links and documents

Written by

Pierre-Olivier Volet

Editor-in-Chief, TV News