26 September 2023

SWITZERLAND: Stations step into broadcast vacuum

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European public broadcasters are combining efforts to make sure the more than 14 million people who have fled their homes since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continue to have access to reliable and accurate news.

Director General of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), Noel Curran said Russian air strikes on television towers in Kyiv and Rivne underlined the vulnerability of broadcast communications in a war zone.

“Together with our Members, we have coordinated the supply and delivery of critical equipment such as IP connectivity solutions, satellite phones, AM transmitters, and studio support to enable the uninterrupted transmission of vital news and information,” Mr Curran said.

“In these circumstances, being able to rely on accurate news sources is the key.”

He said many EBU members had launched dedicated news services specifically for refugees in their own language, so they could tap into vital updates from home, wherever they were in the world.

“As examples, Rai News in Italy has a daily news bulletin in Ukrainian; RTBF UKRAINE is a new web-based radio station for Ukrainian refugees in Belgium, and Yle in Finland has a Ukrainian-language news service for providing the latest news bulletins,” Mr Curran said.

“Few of us can understand the trauma of being forced to leave our homes, not knowing when or if we will return.”

He said he was proud to belong to a community that had mobilised a wide range of practical support so quickly while ensuring trusted news and information continued to reach those who needed it.

Grand-Saconnex, 18 June 2022

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