The European Commission’s DG CONNECT consults stakeholders with a survey on the Future of Media for the new H2020 Work Programme. EurActiv among others contributed, and provides summary of its answers. You are welcome to comment here publicly – adding a link to your view – or in person.
Online publishing has undermined the news/media sector’s business models for the last 20 years. Most European media reacted defensively; a few, like EurActiv, built innovative cross-border partnerships, capitalising on Europe’s strong linguistic diversity.
This shift set the scene for the use of language technologies, facilitating the European media sector’s shift towards a cross-border and cross-lingual industry.
Bringing together these two sectors – media and language technologists – has a three-fold potential:
- Improving media’s competitiveness and stimulating revenue and job growth;
- Increasing the innovation capacity of European media by creating a pan-European network of collaborating media;
- Enhancing the flow of ideas and perspectives across European borders, stimulating the emergence of a European Public Sphere.
Some low tech but relatively integrated media networks, like EurActiv, LENA or CPN have successfully demonstrated the high potential of cross-lingual republication. However, their ability to shape the European media sector relies on meeting certain requirements:
- Trust: each media must trust that the other media produce high-quality and copyrighted content.
- Frictionless integration between content management systems to make it extremely simple for journalists to both discover and submit articles.
The technologies required to do the above exist. They include the following: CMS interface, multilingual data indexing, CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) environment, machine translation systems, dynamic learning functionality, authoring language technologies, semantic linking tools, text summarisation, gisting, semantic analysis, and semantic search.
In order for the process to work, these technologies must to be integrated, tested – and their economic benefits validated.
How can we reconcile Greek and German public opinions, or reform the Eurozone, without building bridges between national media?
The day translations become fast, accurate and cheap, readers will enjoy broader and deeper news coverage; publishers will have access to a pool of more diverse content, broadening their reporting capabilities; media will contribute to shared values and to common understanding, building a real EU identity.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela
As each national public space has its own language and its own interest, it is vital that media do not act individually in a top down and one-language fashion, but via cooperation and multilingualism.
(Grateful for contributions from Diogo Pinto, Fondation EurActiv’s Secretary General, and David Mekkaoui, EurActiv’s Media Innovation Director)
- Journalists and publishers must unite to create a eurozone press, Christophe Leclercq (link)
- Europe needs bridges between national media, here is how, Christophe Leclercq and David Mekkaoui (link)