Fight Fake News? Rather improve Media Diversity and Transparency

Written by Heritiana Ranaivoson, Luciano Morganti, imec-SMIT-Vrije Universiteit Brussel


Fake News getting increasing attention

Fake news seems to be all over the place now. While there have always been rumours and unverified information circulating through word of mouth or through media, the term itself gained in popularity due to the tone of the debate during the US presidential election in 2016 and in the debates preceding the so-called Brexit referendum. More recently, Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of benefiting from an undemocratic and criminal industry of fake news and lies which led to his election as Brazil’ president-elect. In contrast to previous examples where Facebook had been the main focus of accusations, in Brazil, it is WhatsApp (owned by Facebook!) which is at the centre of accusations.

 

As a result, laws against fake news have been discussed in several European Union countries, notably in France and Germany, and the topic is highly debated also amongst European Institutions.

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Will the radio of tomorrow still face the challenges of today?

Words by Marie-Pierre Moalic & Francesca Fabbri, AER – Association of European Radios

Radio is the most intimate medium: radio listeners access programming they enjoy and useful information. Radio plays a fundamental role in today’s society: it is often quoted as the most trusted medium by citizens, and, as national audience measurement shows, 80% of the EU population on average listens to radio for at least 2 or 3 hours per day.

 

Radio is…

 

Radio is a mixture of audio content which is well-edited and well-produced.

Content is Free-To-Air / Free-To-Access /Free-To-Use, transmitted via wired or wireless means – such as, first and foremost, broadcast, but also cable, satellite or online – and typically consists of talk, stories, entertainment, news, music and surprises. Radio is the most intimate medium: its character is by nature local, regional or at the utmost national – and so is its audience:

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Intrapreneurship at France Télévisions : the learnings from the first season

In 2018, France Télévisions launched « Hacktion ! », an intrapreneurial program for a first experimental season.

This program aims at making each employee of France Télévisions a player for transforming the company by allowing them to transform their ideas into concrete actions independently, as long as they are in line with the company’s strategic orientations.

The goals :

  • encouraging innovation and internal problem solving ;
  • making the company more agile, encouraging cross-functionality between teams ;
  • unleashing the energy and the creativity of the employees ;
  • fostering and facilitating initiatives, autonomy, « trial and error » logic ;
  • contributing to the employer brand in order to attract and retain talented people.

In 2018, the « Hacktion ! » program therefore proposed a 6-month course to help develop and accelerate projects on 3 issues :

  • media education ;
  • resolution of everyday problems or quality of life at France Télévisions ;
  • any project that is more generally in line with the company’s strategic orientations.

This first experiment validated the relevance of the program and demonstrated that the company could rely on it to foster the transformation :

  • 20 participants, 5 selected projects, 2 of them are accelerating thanks to the determination of the teams ;
  • an overall satisfaction of the stakeholders, with its goals as well as with its implementation, the support provided and the skills acquired by the intrapreneurs ;
  • successful achivements : cross-functionality, decompartmentalised organization, creativity, initiatives, right to make mistakes…
  • creation of a first internal community sensitive to the issue of intrapreneurship and a program recognized externally.

However, difficulties were noted during this first experimental season :

  • the lack of time dedicated to carrying out projects, a real difficulty despite the commitment and the determination of intrapreneurs ;
  • the role of managers needs to be refined, as this new form of management can generate an exit from their traditional comfort zone ;
  • the limited visibility given to « Hacktion ! » prevented us from federating around the program but could also slow down intrapreneurial projects ;
  • the support of the program and the intrapreneurial projects requires time and tools from the organising team.

The keys to the success of intrapreneurial projects, which are currently in the prototyping phase :

  • the ability of project leaders to federate, to build a team to help them ;
  • the integration into an internal and external community of intrapreneurs ;
  • the human qualities of intrapreneurs ;
  • multiple and varied supports, especially internally ;
  • an internal recognition of the intrapreneur allowing him/her to act in all legitimacy and confidence ;
  • an internal and external coaching ;
  • an iterative approach that makes it possible to achieve projects.

The success of this first experimental season clearly encourages the continuation of the experiment. Some proposals and recommendations are made to develop the program and adapt it to a larger scale :

  • during season 2 launched in the 2nd quarter of 2019, open the program to more people, with a maximum of 10 projects supported ;
  • strengthen and consolidate the organizational team ;
  • mobilize more financial resources to ensure more supports but also to contribute to the financing of the projects in their prototyping phase ;
  • earn the sponsorship of the top management, thanks to the support of the Transformation Department, so that « Hacktion ! » becomes a project for the whole company ;
  • amplify communication about the program to increase awareness and to facilitate the action of intrapreneurs ;
  • establish a tripartite Charter (intrapreneur, manager, HR) to precise the role of each stakeholder ;
  • allow each intrapreneur to benefit, over his working time, 9 days dedicated to his project during the 6 months of acceleration ;
  • redesign the intrapreneurial path for more support, more commitment from the managers and better anticipation of the post-acceleration phase ;
  • foster the community spirit between intrapreneurs from France Télévisions ;
  • enhance sponsorship of each intrapreneurial project by a member of the Executive Committee or a high-level manager.

More about “Hacktion !” (in french) on france tv lab : https://www.francetelevisions.fr/lab/transformation

Join the European Observatory against Disinformation

Written by Marina Klitsi

Following the European Commission Communication on tackling online disinformation, SOMA (Social Observatory for Disinformation and Social Media Analysis) has been launched to provide support to a European community that will jointly fight disinformation!

The SOMA project aims to equip the “hunters” of misleading news with high-end tools that will enable them to do their job in the most efficient and accurate way. In particular, the members of the EU Observatory against disinformation will gain access to powerful technological infrastructure based on the collaborative verification platform, Truly Media, assisting them in the laborious task of fact-checking online content.

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MediaRoad’s response to the Stakeholders’ Consultation on Draft AI Ethics Guidelines: interesting but… what about media?!?

Written by Heritiana Ranaivoson & Luciano Morganti


Draft Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI

On the 18th of December 2018, the European Union’s high level expert group on artificial intelligence today released draft ethics guidelines. They were open for comments until the 18th of January 18 (extended to 1st of February).

This post recaps MediaRoad’s response, in particular arguing for the media sector to be also considered, in particular as a use case.  It follows the structure of the guidelines.

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Startups, stories and Scotland

The NewsXchange in Edinburgh; “the news industry’s most provocative and insightful experience”. That is what the site mentioned, and we – three startups from Belgium, France and The Netherlands were invited to show what we built. We considered it an honour in itself.

The organization gave us also a clear idea of the two-day annual conference at the 14/15th of November 2018, and we found out that all of it was true.

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European Elections, Media and Disinformation: a tricky rebus to solve! The intake from EuroPCom 2018

Written by Luciano Morganti & Heritiana Ranaivoson

EuroPCom 2018

 

On the 8th and 9th of November 2018, the 9th edition of EuroPCom, the European Public Communication Conference, was held at the Committee of the Regions in Brussels. This year the conference scored a record figure of 1,714 registrations. Also this was the first gender-balanced EuroPCom event to date! But this year EuroPCom established also other records with a very young audience (41% of participants were under 30 years old), 15% of participants coming from academia, and 66% female participants. As stated last year, EuroPCom is now the de facto annual “to be” event for communication managers and experts from local, regional, national and European authorities.

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Bridges in (Audience) Measurement

Towards a more flexible and complete media accountability toolbox

Words by Katty Roberfroid-Close

The difficulty of measuring audiences across screens and platforms is nothing new. The media industry, although aware of the constant improvement brought to the existing measurement and trading currencies, do actively or passively struggle with some of its shortcomings. There is an unprecedented sense of urgency and growing momentum to boost innovation in the sector and solve the issues impacting the reliability of digital media and bring the greater clarity that will allow marketers to better evaluate the relative effectiveness of the options at their disposal thanks to metrics such as viewability, attribution, engagement, sales uplift, etc. In other words, the industry needs to move from a media-centric towards an advertiser-centric model, while keeping comparable and global KPIs for trading and validation.

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