In times of uncertainty people turn to Public Service Media: PBI Conference

Tuesday 12 September, 2017


Romania's Minister of Foreign Affairs (pictured) has opened the 2017 Public Broadcasters International conference in Romania.

In his opening presentation he said:

"Representing public institutions is not an easy task. We have the responsibility to inform our people in a professional manner and to address bruning issues in a wholesome approach. As Foreign Minister I have to do this. And so does the Public Service media here in Romania and in every country.

"Public Service Broadcasters (PSBs) play a fundamental role in society, they are the vehicle to affirming our vales, promoting economic interests and strengthening culture and diversity."

Public Service Media has played a unique role in history, according to the Foreign Minister.

“In times of uncertainty people have always turned to PSBs for information and reliable news and events.

“The ability of media to produce a mood in the polulation has been proven many times. The power of storytelling is amazing, but it can also be dangerous,” he said.

In the world today there are many challenges. Many of today’ s stories are about an uncertain future, and often they are distorted or fake. These stories are sometimes spread by those who benefit from the uncertainty.

“There are a lot of influencers that spread news that questions and undermines societies. They focus on emotional or nationalistic sentiments to bring disharmony…

“At our ministry we know that information is power, that is why we are rapidly adapting our strategies to inform society and increase its resilience, and counter messages contrary to national interests... This does not refer to propaganda or censorship, we want to make sure that transparency is there and that citizens are informed about decisions that affect their lives...

“We want an informed society. This is the part where we need your help. Public admisitratin and media should work together to get out reliable information quickly and accurately to inform citizens.”

Media is the watchdog of society, according to the Minister. “With extremist sentiments rising the media must be aware of the important role it has. Please fight for the rule or law, human rights, and fundamental freedoms."


EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot talked about the priorities as he saw them for Public Service Broadcasters. He said:

In a world where journalist safety is fragile.

In a world where people can access fake news and can chose between propaganda messages or properly checked information.

In a global world where 5 or 6 big companies produce and dissemintae information to the world.

It is the challenge for Public Service Broadcasters in this century to do something about this.

Public Service Media values are more accurate and more needed than ever before. We have to build trust for PSBs in this new world where ill informed populist movements are gorwing. We must embrace cultural richness and information accuracy, as well as embracing new technology.

In this global world we will not successfully address the challenges if we try to do it alone. We have to work together.

He outlined a range of important things for Public Service Broadcasters to work together on:

1. Protection of journalists. There are more journos in jail than 20 years ago.

2. Independence of Public Service Media, away from commercial interests.

3. A sustainable framework of funding to invest in local content and investigative journalists. Not a system under pressure of economic or political influence.

4. The ability to get content out everywhere. To secure enough specturm for the future and be on 5G and whatever new telecommunications technologies emerge.

5. Internet governance rules. We have to protect our capacity to be viable in this world. Big companies collect a lot of data, we need access to that data and also to have a say in protecting people from misuse of their own data.  

6. Digital assistants and smart speakers. When you ask what the news, which news will they give you? What is the guarantee that it will be the right news?


Country Romania
45° 19' 51.7548" N, 25° 33' 44.46" E
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