But Europe gets one’s act together. Crisis accelerates the Internet revolution, but it is not about changing jingles, nor having beautiful girls as newsreaders: it is not a bad idea to have intelligent mates who communicate well, with credibility… and who speak languages, by the way. In this situation of crisis, something more than that has to be done, and it is not easy.
There is a project that is absolutely innovative at European level to make information on line, using traditional platforms in a new common way to make information, interactive and multicultural.
Spain will take part in the hard nucleus of European Television Network. 71 millions euros are at stake: a succulent contract to make information at crisis time. Yes, I did: to make information, because once awarded the tender, the editorial line will be in professional hands.
Brussels has realized that the European message is not made by the institutional ‘langue de bois’ and, for this reason, it has decided to leave the job to tell Europe to citizens in hands of the best news services.
Although they do not have an agreement with Moncloa yet, which is preparing its European Presidency with Belgium and Hungary, audiovisual industry in Spain bets for Europe. Both public and private: on the one hand, TVE and the regional televisions; on the other, Telecinco and Antena 3.
Because this all about: giving credibility to the information to wake up an interest about the EU among citizens. There are three applicants to ‘the century contract’ but the final decision is two months late. The European Commission had to make its decision public before Christmas and we still have no news right now. There is something sure: the decision will not be definitive. The three candidates will be preselected and then the politic fight will start.
In the ‘EBU consortium’, coordinated by The European Broadcasting Union, and leaded by a French-speaking Belgian television: the Belgian RTBF, although modest, is leading. Spain makes double with TVE audiences and some regional televisions. Apart from EBU and Center TV Düsseldorf, [a] news will be a subcontract in RETV consortium. Anyway, Spain is already the best represented country in the project.
As a friend of mine says: ‘with this amount of millions, you can buy 150 apartments, José María’. Even more, at crisis time. The 71 millions euros project will be totally paid with European funds.
European radios and televisions are in an unprecedented experience: to bring Europe closer to European people in an easy language and with the future tools. On the one hand, radios have already joined to EURANET; on the other, televisions already have an interactive web in nine languages.
Communication in charge of European Commission are starting the most ambitious informative challenge in the whole history of the UE.
And those who think we are talking about advertising, please read EUTVNET bases. I support the initiative, from a very professional position, from an independent journalist, because there are guarantees of an independent editorial, freedom of the press and informative neutrality. Radio stations and television channels which make EURANET and EUTVNET should have an own ‘editorial letter’: here is the credibility of the project. No one will tell them how to give news, nor in which channel or radio station, nor at what time.
Anyway, there are television channels in Spain which continue mistrusting Europe and which have refused the offer of making a professional radio or television. With European money, which is everybody’s money, to make good news bulletins: good radio and good television.
Brussels has woken up the attention of news in charge. We have some months to convince Brussels who can do his best in a competitive dialogue process between selected consortiums. The big ones will not even have the advantage because 15 channels and a large audience (250 millions of viewers) must to be joined, just a half Europe. On the one hand, the television consortium which wins ‘the contract of the century’ will have the resources to produce quality news bulletins; on the other correspondents will have more resources to tell them what they want to know.
For the first time, RTVE takes part in a big European informative project next to EBU, the European Broadcaster Union: Eurovision. In the same group, some Spanish regional televisions are beating under the same umbrella. Among the other European countries, RAI, TF1, Canal + France, iTele, TVP (Polish Public National Television), TVP and publics channels from Hungary, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Sweden have already confirm their interest with Eurovision.
Telecinco and Antena 3 are opposite them. Its consortium is leaded by a private broadcasting company from Berlin, Media Consulta, which will broadcast European programs to their associated clients. Finally, a third consortium of Italian and British televisions leaded by ITV (10 Local TV) fill out the tenders which aspire to the coveted millions.