12 February, 2024
Key societal challenges will feature prominently on EPRA's agenda
The Executive Board adopted EPRA's Work Programme for 2024 on 24 January. The endorsement took place after a round of consultation with EPRA members and is based on the input collected from the membership but also from external partners and media experts.
The Executive Board has decided to reflect on some of the major societal challenges that our societies are facing and their impact on media regulators. The Work Programme follows a flexible approach with broad themes and the Executive Board and Secretariat are committed to further exploring innovative and interactive working formats to address these key topics.
Three themes will frame the bi-annual in person meetings this year: "Artificial Intelligence" (spring & autumn), "Hate speech" (spring) and "Media literacy" (autumn). Also, elections will be a common thread across the selected topics.
EPRA's themes for 2024:
Artificial Intelligence and the use of AI into the working processes of media regulators (spring session): EPRA Members will have an opportunity to discuss the necessary steps to build and implement an internal AI Strategy that delivers value for media regulators. Why do media NRAs need an AI Strategy? Where do we start? What could specific guidance on the responsible use of AI include? How to internally implement the use of AI, and which NRAs are already doing so?
Artificial Intelligence: the impact of AI systems on content & the implications for media NRAs (autumn session): The rapid development of AI systems, and the boom of generative AI, are having a wide-ranging impact on content production, curation, selection and prioritisation. What are the key issues at stake for the media sector? And how can this impact on the missions of media NRAs, for instance in terms of plurality and electoral integrity? How to cooperate with other sectoral regulators in a meaningful manner?
Media literacy & Elections: 2024 is seen as the biggest election year in history. There are high expectations that media literacy knowledge and skills could enhance the ability to understand and value the democratic functions of the media and other information providers, and the importance of information pluralism. This session will examine the role that the various stakeholders can play to foster media literacy, news literacy and media freedom literacy, among the population and make an impact. Are there best practices principles for interventions to highlight? Is there a correlation between the level of news media literacy and political engagement? How can we reconcile high expectations concerning the short-term impact of MIL actions with the need for lifelong learning and long-term approaches? And what appropriate role can the media NRAs play?
Fighting hateful content in times of crisis – what role for media regulators? With this session, EPRA Members will inspire each other to look for innovative ways to combat and prevent hate speech, online and offline, in times of crisis, based on specific case-studies (such as gendered disinformation, anti-LGBTQ+ or anti-migrants hate) and practical interactive exchanges. Particular attention will also be given to hate speech in the context of elections where practicable.This will be an opportunity to explore what may constitute hate speech, identify common challenges, look at the range and impact of legal and non-legal remedies and how cooperation can help.
The working groups:
The regular online roundtables and workshops - a flexible and efficient way of interacting between EPRA Members - will keep exploring emerging concerns and facilitating learning from each other.
The video-sharing platforms and regulation online workshops aim at fostering the exchange of best practices and facilitate practical discussions between EPRA members on the regulation of video-sharing platforms in an informal setting.
The taskforce on Media and Information Literacy "EMIL" - which gathers a large number of EPRA members, as well as external organisations active in the field of MIL and media literacy networks - will continue holding its regular meetings and support the preparation of the EPRA spring plenary session on Media Literacy and Elections.
The artificial intelligence and regulators roundtable will be upgraded as a taskforce to support the preparation of the two in-person plenary sessions on artificial intelligence that will take place in spring and in autumn.
EPRA's cooperation partnerships:
The fruitful cooperation scheme between EPRA and the University of Vienna Comms Policy Collaborative (CPC) will continue in 2024. This cooperation has already proved to be of great added value for both parties, providing valuable inputs from inspiring experts and encouraging stronger collaboration with the research sector.
Collaboration with permanent observers and other academic partners on specific projects will continue to be developed as well as the long-standing relationship with the European Audiovisual Observatory.
We look forward to exploring these key topics with you in 2024!
A brief overview of EPRA activities in 2023 with links to the content of thematic sessions and working groups is annexed to the Work Programme.
The EPRA Board and Secretariat