According to the EBU, it was launched as a response to surging demand for trusted news against the backdrop of conspiracy-fuelled disinformation campaigns and populist rhetoric and is hosted by public service media from Belgium (RTBF), Finland (Yle), France (France Télévisions), Germany (BR-ARD), Ireland (RTÉ), Italy (RAI), Portugal (RTP), Spain (RTVE), Sweden (Sveriges Radio) and Switzerland (SWI swissinfo.ch) as well as the Franco-German and European broadcaster, ARTE.
Articles published through dedicated feeds on the broadcasters’ websites have been viewed nearly 24 million times, and with over one million reads, “A European Perspective” has a click-through rate of around 4.5%, well above the industry standard.
Commenting on the service, Eric Scherer, chair, EBU News Committee and director of innovation and international affairs at France Télévisions, said: “This pioneering initiative allows public service media to open new windows for our fellow citizens while others are busy closing them.”
Delphine Ernotte Cunci, president of the EBU which coordinates the project as part of the EBU Group with its office in Brussels, added: “The ability of European public service media to provide quality news from other countries within Europe and to make it available in multiple European languages is not only a natural extension of our public service remit, but also serves as an important corrective for the (largely unchecked) dissemination and distribution of fake news and disinformation through social media”.
The EBU says the initiative has considerable potential for expansion, drawing on the combined resources of Europe’s public service media which invest an estimated €5.8 billion per year in their newsgathering operations.
It has also given the participating broadcasters a unique chance to road-test AI and machine-learning tools. These include the EBU’s EuroVOX, designed to ensure that audiences get the content they want in a language they understand, and the PEACH system for personalisation and recommendations.
James McNamara, editor at RTÉ News Digital, said: “‘A European Perspective’… has provided us with an important window on the work of our colleagues in public service media across Europe. It gives us a real-time handle on how we are all covering our shared experience of the pandemic”.