Public Broadcasters fight back in Europe

Echoing the sentiments of Peter Finch in the 1970s movie Network, Public Broadcasters are as mad as hell and they’re not going to take it any more.

For too long they have either not responded, or issued low-key corporate press statements, politely correcting attacks against them from rival media or social media trolls, but the Austrian public broadcaster Österreichischer Rundfunk (ORF) recently decided to play the game by the new rules.

In a presentation to the Media2020 Conference in Europe last week (see related coverage on AsiaRadioToday), ORF’s Patrick Swanson told delegates:

“Don’t ignore those who are criticising you on social media…you have to counter the haters and propagandist critics on social media to stay relevant in this new media age,”

He told the story of criticism of the national broadcaster’s coverage of riots in Austria.

Critics said the broadcaster was ignoring them for political reasons. They were getting hammered for bias, but that was not true.

“We researched our archives and looked into how many times we had covered these riots… it turned out is was a lot, we had 12 stories on these riots… so we decided to turn it around.

“We made a 2 minute video where we cut all these 12 stories together and put it on facebook, saying we had some critical comments but maybe you would like to see this video… we have covered this.

“Within an hour there was silence, the criticism stopped… we had re-established credibility…

“80% of young people don’t trust media, we should all be doing something about that,” said Swanson.


Related articles: Peter Saxon comments on New Media Laws and the ABC (premium content for our subscribers), New Media Laws explained.


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