At the initiative of France Télévisions, the French public broadcaster, and facilitated by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU), an e-mail group gathering about 20 news desks of major PSBs in Europe, including the BBC, RAI, RTBF, RTVE, ZDF/ARD and RTÉ, was created at the end of January in order to exchange on news related to the Covid-19 crisis and to provide objective and secure information. The Taskforce was recently joined by Radio Canada.
The Taskforce aims to provide accurate and balanced information to the public to fight against information disorder. The public broadcasters participating in this initiative have the opportunity to exchange information, exclusive news, fact-checking as well as security protocols for their respective teams.
Deputy Media Director and EBU Head of News Liz Corbin pointed out that audiences tend to turn to public service media in times of crisis - as evidenced by the recent record breaking online traffic of audiovisual public services - and, when it comes to public health, “trusted and reliable sources of information” are in high demand. In times of international crises, collaborative journalism is also crucial and the more public broadcasters contribute to the EBU community, the more they can benefit from it, for the sake of better public information.