“A European Perspective”: using ground-breaking technology to foster greater understanding between citizens in Europe – European Broadcasting Union

Screenshot of the application European Perspective

At a time when the need for mutual understanding in Europe has never been so great, a pioneering digital news service – ‘A European Perspective’ – is stepping up its efforts to offer citizens multilingual coverage of major stories by drawing on content produced by 12 public service newsrooms.

Following its highly successful launch last year, this unique content offer has broken new ground in using automated translation software and AI-driven recommendation tools to better serve audiences who are increasingly turning to trustworthy information from national broadcasters.

Over the next phase of this initiative, the cohort of contributing media is poised to welcome new members as well as to enact a social media strategy aimed at reaching young people and to develop a content-based algorithm that embraces public service values.

Phase I of ‘A European Perspective’ – launched in July 2021 – brought together 11 public service broadcasters and the EBU to share objective, trustworthy news from across the continent, all delivered in real-time to the public in their local language online.

In the first eight months of the project, over 6,500 stories were shared on their websites. With over 45 million views, the public’s interest is clear. Broadcasters are able to display a dedicated newsfeed on their homepages or within any article, serving the growing need for a European perspective on public service news coverage.

Phase II of the project will expand upon this success and further develop the innovative work started around online news sharing for another 14 months.  A new social media strategy is set to increase public engagement and reach new, younger audiences and it will also kickstart the development of a public service journalism algorithm. Both phases of this innovation project are co-financed by the European Commission.

Delphine Ernotte-Cunci, President of the EBU and CEO of France Télévisions said: “Viewers struggle to know who to trust when watching the news. Our goal is to establish a networked pan-European newsroom based on public service values and high standards of journalism.

“‘A European Perspective’ brings a variety of perspectives on both local stories and global headlines. With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we saw how connected reporting throughout Europe, in real time and translated into the local language, helped the public gain a more informed view on what was happening. That is why this project is a game changer.”

Jon Williams, Managing Director of RTÉ News & Current Affairs, said “Making sense of the world has never been more important. And that starts in our own back yard.

“Post-Brexit, ‘A European Perspective’ has increased the range and variety of our storytelling for Irish audiences – it has also meant RTÉ’s stories about Ireland have been consumed by different audiences right across Europe.

“As we double our presence around the world, and are awarded the JTI mark – Europe’s standard for trusted journalism — ‘A European Perspective’ is one more way we can help our audiences understand context and put the pieces of the jigsaw together in an ever more complex and turbulent world.”

‘A European Perspective’ builds on systems used by the Eurovision News Monitoring Tool to share viewpoints from across Europe in a seamless and user-friendly fashion. The EBU PEACH recommendation system uses algorithms to surface relevant articles while the EBU’s AI-assisted EuroVOX application provides automated translation.

Together, these tools are helping to overcome language and cultural barriers, making an important contribution to society and democracy. Phase II of the project will see these applications refined and developed to further facilitate the sharing of news.

New partners are set to join the initiative and the potential for forging distribution partnerships with institutions that share a public service mentality – such as cultural organizations, libraries, think-tanks and universities – will be explored. Journalism schools will also be invited to take part in a series of PSM News Innovation Labs. All contributing to the creation of a European public sphere.

The initiative will also benefit from new editorial contributions that will strengthen the brand and broaden its appeal including:

  • pan-European multimedia feature stories contributed by Agence France Presse
  • a European pilot of RTÉ’s Brainstorm initiative which gives the academic and research community the opportunity to contribute to the public discourse
  • an increased role for France Télévisions which will share its pioneering fact-checking systems
  • news sharing complemented by content from the Eurovision Social Newswire which collaborates with EBU Members in real time to uncover and verify the most newsworthy eyewitness media

 

About ‘A European Perspective’

‘A European Perspective’ brings together public service media organizations to share original online news content, offering their audiences fresh insight into pan-European issues.

Participating public service media contribute to a news recommendation service that helps European citizens to contextualize trending stories and better understand how other countries are covering these issues.

The EBU’s own innovative technology is at the heart of the initiative. The Eurovision News Monitoring Tool allows participating broadcasters to monitor online content produced by their counterparts in real-time, using AI-assisted translation, automatic content recommendation tools (PEACH) and filters to identify items of interest that will resonate with national audiences.

Then each participating organization shares its original stories through a Digital News Hub, where they use AI-assisted translations to produce versions in the languages of their audiences, thanks to the EBU’s EuroVOX tool and robust editorial workflows.

This EBU Brussels-led initiative includes Members from Belgium (RTBF), Estonia (ERR), Finland (Yle), France (France Télévisions), Germany (BR-ARD), Ireland (RTÉ), Italy (Eurovision Italy, RAI), Portugal (RTP), Spain (RTVE), Sweden (SR), Switzerland (SWI swissinfo.ch) as well as ARTE, the Franco-German broadcaster, the Constructive Institute from Denmark and Agence France Presse (AFP).

european flag.png This project is co-financed by the European Union’s Preparatory Action – “European Media Platforms”

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