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.
In late 2017, the European Commission set up a High-Level Expert Group (HLEG) on Fake News and Online Disinformation. The EBU was represented by Director General Noel Curran. The Group delivered its report on 12 March 2018.
On 26 April 2018 the European Commission published its Communication following the adoption of the HLEG report.
“Tackling Online Disinformation: A European approach” sets out the views of the Commission on the challenges associated with disinformation online and takes into account extensive consultations with citizens and stakeholders.
The European Commission announced they would implement a set of measures, among them an EU-wide Code of Practice and an independent European network of fact-checkers, to combat the spread of disinformation (fake news) online.
The Commission has also convened a 'multistakeholder forum', consisting of a Working Group - platforms, advertisers and ad network companies – and a Sounding Board - media, civil society, fact checkers and academia.
The EBU has been invited to be a member of the Sounding Board.
The Working Group is in charge of drafting and approving the Code of Practice, the Sounding Board will assess and adopt an opinion on the Code of Practice proposed by the Working Group. The target date to complete the process is the end of July 2018.
The EBU will continue to provide the EU Institutions and key stakeholders with regular input, information and recommendations by identifying best practices, appropriate policy options and cross-industry initiatives to tackle the problem of disinformation and to help build citizens' trust.
The Journalism Trust Initiative, which the EBU has launched with Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Agence France Press (AFP) and Global Editors Network (GEN), aims to become the benchmark of media self-regulation and good practices by creating a list of trust and transparency standards.
What distinguishes this initiative is that it is using one of the existing authorised mechanisms for developing voluntary standardisation of products/services/processes in Europe - CEN (European Committee for Standardisation).
The project plan for a CEN Workshop on Journalism Trust Indicators was approved at the kick off meeting that took place on 23 May 2018 in Paris. Find the plan and list of participants on the CEN website.
Claudio Capon (former member of the EBU Executive Board) and current COPEAM General Secretary was approved as a chairperson for the JTI Workshop.
Organizations that wish to participate in the Initative as Stakeholders are invited to register via the CEN website by 23 July.
9 EBU Members (ZDF, VRT, NRK, DR, RTE, RTBF, YLE, NPO/Human, and SR) have come together to create an EBU Investigative Network following a successful pilot project in 2017.
The pilot saw reporters working on the common topic: "Right wing extremist movements in Europe and their network of supporters". A number of reports were made as a direct consequence of the shared research as well as several spin offs.
As in-depth investigative journalism is a core task of PSM, the idea of creating such a network has the full support of EBU Executive Board.
In April 2018 the founding members created the EIPN Steering Committee - an expert group reporting to the EBU Executive Board, currently chaired by Olle Zachrison, Head of News & Current Affairs at SR.
The new structure lays the foundation to expand the network of trusted and professional contacts as well as for cooperation on particular investigative projects.
The network is open to all EBU Members, subject to prior approval by the EIPN 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 or having demonstrable investigative journalism expertise.
The EBU has also partnered with 5 other media organisations to form the Global Council to Build Trust in Media and Fight Misinformation.
Together with the Ethical Journalism Network, Global Editors Network (GEN), Global Forum for Media Development, Online News Association and the World Editors Forum within the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) the EBU is working to facilitate realistic, practical and workable solutions to build trust in media and fight misinformation.
The Council will be non-political and its first action is to work together on a repository of resources and map initiatives from across the industry to better inform the global journalism community of ongoing efforts regardless of size funding or location. In the next phase, the Council's activities will aim at connecting individuals and organizations with initiatives that they can contribute to and benefit from. This will eliminate overlap and help funding go further.
For more information please visit http://globalmis.info where you can learn more about the mission of the Council, view the proof of concept repository, submit additions and sign-up for updates.
Public Service Media News face arduous challenges. And some are similar to those in the industry, but some are so unique that overcoming them needs to be honoured.
The new 2018 EBU PSM News Report aims to compile and unlock already existing data about Public Service Journalism and to be a shop window for inspiration.
Targeted to PSM journalists, it will focus on change, determination to succeed, and transformation. And rather than the market, the society and the values shared by PSM organizations will be at its heart.
The report, which will have a special focus on audience engagement and trust, will be published in December 2018.
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