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Public service news organisations facing ‘perfect storm’

The EBU's report has been released to coincide with the launch of a new Quality Journalism Initiative

The European Broadcasting Union has warned public service news organisations are facing a ‘perfect storm’ in order to stay relevant.

The EBU’s report addresses the challenges facing public service news providers and explores how Members throughout Europe are adapting to changing demands.

The EBU’s report, titled Perfect Storm, says pressure on broadcasters is coming from many directions, including political and economic threats, changing consumption patterns and the need to do more with less to reach all audiences. Plus, the rise of ‘fake news’ has led to a decrease in trust in the media.

The report has been released to coincide with the EBU’s 78th General Assembly in Dublin, Ireland, where it is launching a new Quality Journalism Initiative.

EBU director of media Jean Philip De Tender said: “The EBU has been supporting Members to deliver high-quality news and journalism since its inception. However, Members are now facing a period of unprecedented change and we want to see what new services we can offer to meet new demands.

“We have already set up an incredibly popular User Generated Content Verification Network which provides Members with up to 40 cleared videos every day and last year we launched a network of editors-in-chief to address wider issues in the field of journalism.

“For our new report, we spoke to journalists from North to South to better understand their needs and requirements and we will continue to work with them to ensure PSM remains the benchmark for objective, high-quality news that reaches all audiences.”

Bill Dunlop, president of Eurovision Americas and author of the new report, added public service news providers needed to rethink everything except their values: “Whether you’re producing an edit for Facebook, a piece of youth content for an app or a video for YouTube, it must have a purpose and a standard worthy of a public service broadcaster. It must be intelligent and it must reflect multiple points of view: that is how, over the long term, public service media will continue to stand out from the mass of other online news providers.”