Ukrainian journalist Angelina Kariakina speaks at the 17th News Assembly of the EBU Ukrainian journalist Angelina Kariakina speaks at the 17th News Assembly of the EBU 

EBU Summit: War puts European media to the test

The European Broadcasting Union, which brings together Europe’s public service media, holds its 17th News Assembly in Geneva. The war in Ukraine, the climate crisis, and the challenges to traditional information posed by social media were among the important themes discussed among European radio and TV journalists.

By Vatican News

“News is a vital element that public service media can offer. Having a strong presence in the news sector is our most important asset and it is absolutely to be defended,” said Noel Curran, Director General of the EBU (European Broadcasting Union), as he opened the 17th General Assembly for the news sector in Geneva.

It was the first in-person gathering of the Assembly since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The two-day event, which ended yesterday, was attended by journalists from Europe’s leading radio and TV stations, together with experts in new technologies and academics. Vatican Radio (one of the founding members of EBU) also took part in the assembly, represented by the deputy editorial director of Vatican media, Alessandro Gisotti.

At the centre of the discussion were topical issues, beginning with the war in Ukraine. The EBU summit, which brings together 113 bodies from 56 countries, wanted to emphasize the work being done by war reporters on Ukrainian soil, even at the risk of their lives.

Liz Corbin, who heads EBU’s News department after a long career at the BBC, thanked her Ukrainian colleagues and reiterated the support of her European partners so that they can continue to be an example of independent journalism.

Ukraine’s public service broadcaster also received the Gunnar Høydal award for outstanding coverage of the war and for its efforts in sharing information with other media on the continent. It was inevitably a remote award ceremony, marked by the connection from Kyivv of Angelina Kariakina, editor-in-chief of Ukraine’s public TV, who spoke movingly about the daily challenge of reporting on the war in her country.

Another topic that featured prominently in the assembly was climate change, a subject to which the public does not seem to pay enough attention. If, in fact, the scientific community is almost unanimously in agreement in considering this as a crisis with catastrophic consequences, the media — it was noted — does not always manage to report on it adequately. Not least to make up for this deficit, it was announced that the EBU’s 2023 Report News will be devoted precisely to the climate crisis.

Finally, during the summit of European journalists, the Reuters Institute Young Audience Report was presented, a survey that probed young people’s approach to news. The research confirmed that the Internet is increasingly a source of information for the new generations with all that this entails for traditional media and quality journalism.

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14 October 2022, 14:31