IBC2018: President of NBC News International, Deborah Turness, says the media has failed to listen to certain sections of society.
“Europe is in crisis but so is the mainstream media,” declared Deborah Turness, president of NBC News International during an IBC Forum session on trust and technology in the news.
The news exec – who is currently one year into her overhaul of Euronews, which NBC acquired a majority stake in last year - added that there has been a failure to listen to certain sections of society and that mainstream media’s role “has never been more critical”.
She added: “We have failed to understand why far right parties such as the AfD have been so successful in Germany or why people voted for Lega in Italy. In the UK we didn’t see Brexit coming. It is not surprising that audiences are turning to alternative sources of news.”
Turness said that it was down to broadcasters to harness technical innovation, make more effective use of social media and take bold risks to win that trust back.
She highlighted how Euronews has gone from being a post-produced platform of video packages to a news-anchored channel, which aims to capture new viewers.
“In the UK we didn’t see Brexit coming. It is not surprising that audiences are turning to alternative sources of news.”
Untethered from trucks, Euronews’ fleet of reporters travel with drones and smartphones.
Turness highlighted the success of the channel’s Paris-based correspondent Anelise Borges, who was the only broadcast journalist on board the Aquarius rescue ship that picked up over 600 migrants in the Mediterranean.
For ten days Borges broadcast live footage from ship, appearing on scores of other news broadcasts, including CNN, with her twitter account becoming the feed to follow.
Another highlight is Euronews’ social media focus, The Cube – which shares a range of opinions on social media as well as debunking daily myths that are taking hold, such as the far right leader Matteo Salvini’s claims that immigrants are bringing TB into Europe.
“It’s been like launching a start up within a legacy news op. We are putting social at the heart of everything we do,” says Turness.