Public Service Journalism
Strengthening and supporting independent, trusted news
We consider public service journalism to be key to building informed societies in the era of digital noise, disruption, disinformation and political pressures.
News and current affairs are the core and defining content for public service media (PSM). Informing citizens with independent, impartial, accurate and relevant news and helping them to better understand the world in which they live is crucial for a democratic society.
With the increasing challenges of the digital age it is even more important that PSM produces distinctive, quality and ethical journalism as a trustworthy source of information made available to all. PSM must also be an influential voice in the debate on disinformation, encouraging the support for professional journalism and ethical standards and working to develop technical solutions and appropriate international policy frameworks.
To this end, the EBU is providing Members with an amplified voice, through industry partnerships, and indispensable services to sustain and support public service journalism.
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With more than 40,000 journalists, our Members collectively make up Europe’s largest and most trusted newsroom. In February 2021, the EBU rolled out its new monitoring tool for the Eurovision News Exchange. This innovative platform provides real-time insight and overview of the wide range of online news from across Europe’s public service media.
“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 co-chairperson of the Steering Group. EBU Members can learn more about the tool and its development by viewing this webinar.
Based on this successful collaboration, we are developing a European news recommendation box named “A European Perspective”. The news recommendation service launches this summer and will provide audiences from across Europe with fresh insight into issues of common concern and mutual interest. It will help European citizens to contextualize trending stories such as the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change and migration and to gain a better understanding of how neighbouring countries are coping with these challenges.
The service will aggregate news content produced and curated by public service media, including from Belgium (RTBF), Finland (YLE), France (France Télévisions), Germany (BR-ARD), Ireland (RTÉ), Italy (RAI), Portugal (RTP), Spain (RTVE) and Switzerland (SWI swissinfo.ch) as well as ARTE, the Franco-German broadcaster.
The content will be shared through an innovative Digital News Hub where they are translated with EBU EuroVox into multiple languages using cutting-edge AI technology and robust editorial workflows.
The participating newsrooms are then able to select the stories that are most relevant to their audiences and publish them through a dedicated widget featured on their websites and apps. The tool empowers the broadcasters to transcend language barriers and bring trusted content to citizens of all age groups across Europe. More information can be found on this page.
The EBU has been a supporting partner of the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) since the beginning. The JTI is built on a list of criteria that was developed by the EBU and its partners, Reporters Without Borders, Agence France Presse and the Global Editors Network, in collaboration with over 130 organizations and individuals representing the media industry, academia, regulatory and self-regulatory bodies, tech companies and the media development sector.
It was originally published by the European Committee for Standardization and is now available as an interactive web application, one of the first of its kind. At the core of the JTI is the self-assessment of media outlets to diagnose, optimize and promote the accuracy of their journalism, with the aim of building a healthier news ecosystem, identifying and rewarding reliable reporting and restoring audiences’ confidence in journalism at large.
The launch of the JTI web application was preceded by a pilot phase in where nearly 50 media outlets tested the app, including several EBU Members. The JTI online tool enables media organizations to check, disclose and promote their transparency and the reliability of their editorial processes and identify trustworthy outlets. It promises to promote trustworthy journalism and news sources and radically transform steps in tackling disinformation.
The EBU's Investigative Journalism Network started in 2017 and has quickly grown to include more than 100 reporters from organizations across the EBU membership.
There are two strands to the network. The first is a set of project groups where reporters from EBU Members work together to research specific topics that have an impact across European borders. Here journalists pitch stories that can benefit from the collaborative power of multiple EBU Member organizations.
The second strand is a network of investigative reporters on stand-by across Europe ready to respond to tip-offs from their colleagues. This provides Members with a large network of contacts - an unparalleled resource to quickly source information on the stories that matter.
Working with our EBU Academy, we also offer training on best practice and specific news topics for investigative journalists.
The network is open to all EBU Members, subject to prior approval by the EBU Investigative Projects and Network Steering Committee. Eligible Members must meet the criteria defined by the Steering Committee which includes adhering to the EBU's Core Values of Public Service Media and having demonstrable investigative journalism expertise.
More information on the Investigative Journalism Network group page.
We provide EU Institutions and key stakeholders with regular input, information and recommendations by identifying best practices, appropriate policy options and cross-industry initiatives to render online platforms more accountable, to help build citizens' trust in media online and to tackle the problem of disinformation.
By the end of 2021, global online platforms need to revise and strengthen the 2018 Code of Practice on Disinformation in line with European Commission guidance. The Commission will also propose this year a legislation to improve the transparency of political advertising. Importantly, the Commission's recent proposal for a new EU Digital Services Act (DSA) also sets new rules to render online platform behaviour more transparent and accountable.
Read about the EBU position on the proposed EU Digital Services Act.
Read about the EBU recommendations ahead of the revision of the 2018 Code of Practice on Disinformation.
Take a look out the 2018 EBU position paper on fake news and disinformation and read why the 2018 Code of Practice failed to tackle the scourge of fake news.
The EBU cooperates closely with many international organizations on initiatives regarding the safety of journalists, sustainability of quality journalism and the recognition of its importance to building democratic societies.
The Council of Europe features prominently among these organization. With its observer status the EBU contributes actively to the standard-setting work of the CDMSI (Steering Committee on Media and Information Society) and its subordinate bodies. Recent texts include:
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe published a report and a recommendation on the role of public service media tackling disinformation and propaganda (approved in January 2021) and on media freedom as a condition for democratic elections.
Defending media freedom and pluralism is at the heart of what the EBU stands for. (Find more about our advocacy efforts on our Media Freedom and Pluralism policy page.) As such, we are dedicated to securing and improving the safety and protection of journalists in the EU, and we tackle this complex issue from a number of different angles.
Our EBU Academy offers security and safety training for journalists. Our safety and security training is renowned throughout Europe and since 2004 has benefited over 750 journalists.
The Academy also coordinates a network of security officers, where vital information on risk assessment is exchanged on a permanent and informal basis. Additionally, we help broadcasters improve their staff security and legal protection.
Search for all upcoming safety and security training programmes and workshops open to both EBU Members and other media outlets.
Our Eurovision News team is part of the News Safety Institute Board of Directors. Furthermore, we sit beside some of our members on the International News Safety Institute (INSI) Board of Directors. INSI has in recent years launched training initiatives as well as others addressing online bullying and advisories regarding safety in numerous locations.
The EBU supports all institutions and NGOs dealing with the protection of journalists at a global level. Our Legal and Policy team also raise these concerns at the EU level. We contributed to the decision-making process on the issues of online violence targeting women journalists and media professionals and the safety of journalists in the European Union.
We are one of the partner organizations of the Council of Europe's platform for the Protection of Journalism and the Safety of Journalists, where it provides a special contribution to denounce threats and attacks against public service broadcasters.
We participate in UNESCO’s action plans and initiatives dedicated to the topic, like the UN Inter-Agency on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, and cooperate with other organizations such as the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the United Nations Office in Geneva.
We also support all initiatives aimed at reinforcing the safety of journalists within multilateral fora, such as the International Federation of Journalists’ proposal for an international Treaty and the Reporter Without Borders’ proposal for a special UN representative.