MediaRoad’s response to the Stakeholders’ Consultation on Horizon Europe Co-design 2021-2024

Written by Heritiana Ranaivoson & Luciano Morganti


Have your say on future objectives for EU-funded research and innovation

On the 28th of June 2019, the European Union, in the preparation of the implementation of Horizon Europe, launched an online consultation to prepare a ‘Strategic Plan’ for Horizon Europe that will guide the work programmes and calls for proposals for Horizon Europe’s first four years (2021-2024). It is complemented by an online consultation on Horizon Europe Co-design – Implementation, open until the 4th of October 2019.

This post recaps MediaRoad’s response, generally asking for a more systematic presence of the media sector in Horizon Europe’s work programmes.  It follows the structure of the guidelines.

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AI and the media: too hot, too cold, just right? A mapping of Artificial Intelligence applications

By Kati Bremme, Innovation & Prospective Directorate

 Algorithms are made to solve problems. Generating suspicion in some, perceived as a miracle solution by others, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is everywhere, impacting every industry. Some, though, struggle a bit more to fully embrace it, an example being the media. Compared to the financial or health sectors, the media’s capacity to acquire the necessary tools to integrate AI is less flexible and dynamic. In its latest AI Predictions Report, the PwC firm pinpoints these differences, reporting that 20% of interviewed executives plan to deploy AI in their enterprise, but only 7% in the media sector.

However, the application fields for AI in the mediums of written press, cinema, radio, television and advertising are broad: automation of business processes and customer relationships, social network monitoring and listening, information verification, predictive analysis of success

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Are we clear? Explaining what happens with personal data in online media

Written by Ine van Zeeland, Heritiana Ranaivoson & Luciano Morganti

In the beginning of 2019, the French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) handed Google a 50 million Euro fine for not properly explaining the consequences of its profiling activities. Professionals in the media and advertising industries pricked up their ears. While enforcement actions unnerve many in the media sector, underlying justifications provide clarity on the interpretation of contested provisions in data protection legislation. Clarity is sorely needed.

 

‘Lack of clarity’ emerged as the main theme with regard to personal data protection in a roundtable discussion organized in February between stakeholders in the Belgian media sector (news media, telecom providers, consumer advocates, academia, regulators, law firms, ad tech, and intermediaries). Interpretations of requirements differ between companies, between companies and consumers/users, and between regulators and companies. The consequence of this is that nobody knows for sure what is allowed and what is not.

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Journalism in the Digital Storm

Written by: Bianca Manelli, Chantal Cocherová, Georgios Evgenidis, Jiahuan He, Lara Corrado, Suhasni Midha, Yuliia Hladka, Zeynep Atilgan Ozgenc, Luciano Morganti & Heritiana Ranaivoson

What is news? What makes somebody a journalist? In the era of social media and blogs, the answers to these questions are not as clear as they were 10 years ago. With professional journalism still struggling to work through the digitalization of media, the rise of citizen journalism challenges the definition of both news and journalist.

With a few tools at disposal, a smartphone and a taste for news, an internet connection, a Twitter account and a good bunch of followers, if somebody tweets from a social movement, a demonstration or a fire, they can make an online trend. But, does any reported information qualify as news? Does this tweeting activity make them journalists?

According to the American Press Institute, journalism is the activity of gathering, assessing, creating, and presenting news and information. Following this general definition, anyone with a smartphone and social media account could technically do journalistic activities.

Is this definition sufficient to capture journalism? In the digital era, journalism needs to be redefined in order to account for how news and journalist as a profession have evolved in the last years.

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MindSpaces Open call

MindSpaces 1st Open Call – Art driven adaptive outdoors and indoors design
Submission Deadline: 4/7/2019

MindSpaces is looking for artists to develop, implement and assess art installations, in collaboration with researchers, in order to highlight the cultural significance of urban sustainability issues, as well as to offer potentially paradigm-shifting designs of indoor work and living environments.

MindSpaces is a 3-year research project financed by the European Commission STARTS/Lighthouse projects started on Jan 1th 2019. To encourage the collaboration of research projects and artists, STARTS funds STARTS residencies of artists in technology institutions and of scientists and

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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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