February 13, 2017
Fondation EurActiv, together with the Institut d’Études Européennes (ULB) and a steering committee, launched the ‘Media4EU Tour d’Europe’ project in October 2016. More than 30 editors, publishers and media experts were interviewed and a number of associations was consulted. The project came up with practical solutions.
THE MEDIA, A SECTOR IN CRISIS:
- Advertisement on paper no longer a value proposition
- Google and Facebook absorb most of online revenues.
- With fewer resources, traditional media organisation struggle to offer quality journalism.
- As a result, they resort to agencies or cut coverage of certain topics, notably non-national political developments.
- Combined with the rise of fake news on social media, this represents a danger for democratic processes and the survival of the EU project.
#MEDIA4EU RESEARCH AND RESULTS:
- Based on estimates obtained through qualitative research, up to 25% of political journalism could lend itself to cooperation-based coverage.
- There is a potential to cut costs and gain more diversity by exchanging content across borders with media partners.
- The process involves syndication, translation, localisation and curation. It applies to articles and: subtitled videos, infographics, pictures and data-journalism.
ADVANTAGES AND HURDLES:
- This process has the following advantages:
- DIVERSITY: by limiting the re-publication of agencies, news outlets could publish more high quality and diverse content
- AFFORDABILITY: The costs of a journalist producing original content would be reduced, and more topics could be included
- BETTER COVERAGE: complex topics such as EU-policy or internal political developments of neighbouring states would be covered more often and better.
- However, the following hurdles to cross-border cooperation have been found:
- Lack of a EU strategy for the media sector
- Translation efficiency, CMS (Content Management Systems) incompatibility
AND FIRST AND FOREMOST:
- The journalists’ and media professionals’ mind-set and skillset. In fact:
- Journalists are often more inclined to share their content rather than accept articles from others.
- Editorial and commercial sections of news organisations struggle to cooperate on innovative solutions to keep their media organisations sustainable.
- Media professionals both on the editorial and commercial side lack the skills and contact network facilitating innovative cross-border projects.