The international media of the DG8 reaffirm the importance of their missions
As an independent global public service broadcasters, the DG8 mobilized to guarantee access to free and verified information on all continents
Washington, D.C. — The DG8* leaders held their annual summit on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 December 2022 in Paris, under the chairmanship of France Médias Monde. Organized in a hybrid format, the summit allowed the majority of members to meet face-to-face after two years of pandemic-related restrictions.
During this meeting, the eight major international public media (BBC World Service, Deutsche Welle, USAGM, NHK World-Japan, ABC Australia, CBC/Radio-Canada, SRG SSR/SWI and France Médias Monde) have reaffirmed their cooperation around shared interests: the importance of guaranteeing all citizens access to professional, balanced and independent information, the fight against disinformation and all forms of manipulation, as well as the security of editorial teams on the ground and on digital platform, a corollary of the freedom to inform.
Highly responsive media offerings in the face of global upheavals
International media have played a key role in health awareness during the Covid-19 pandemic for the past two years. They also contribute greatly to raising audiences’ awareness of environmental issues and the consequences of climate change. On a daily basis, they are on the front line to cover all the major events of the world, including the most sensitive ones, even in the most remote areas. They have been particularly active since the beginning of the war in Ukraine in reporting on the conflict and have multiplied initiatives to make their radio and television channels and their digital offerings as widely accessible as possible, by adapting to the broadcasting technologies and reception modes available, and by strengthening or launching offerings in the languages spoken in the region. In the same way, members have successfully continued to develop editorial offers for Africa, Latin America, Middle-East or Asia in regional languages, have increased coverage of the Pacific and have plans to expand their footprint and reach into this strategic vulnerable region, always striving to provide audiences with reliable information that complies with the ethical rules of journalism. These initiatives go hand in hand with efforts to ensure the preservation or growth of a free and professional local media landscape.
Members united to ensure the safety of staff and the freedom to inform
In the face of states that deny their populations’ access to impartial information and attempt to influence discourse outside their own borders, the DG8 media will continue, with the support of the international community and organizations working for press freedom, to seek every means to make themselves accessible. In a context of unfavorable international tensions, the DG8 circumventing censorship working group is actively pursuing its work of exchanging and sharing solutions among members. Similarly, in a context of increasing risks for information professionals, DG8 members continue to cooperate on the physical and digital security of their teams on the ground, including hacking, tracing and other forms of digital harassment, which undermine the freedom to inform.
Unique public service missions that require unfailing support
Following the summit, DG8 leaders paid tribute to the courage and professionalism of their international media teams serving all audiences, whose work is the first line of defense against disinformation, on a global scale, in more than 60 languages. With more than 1.5 billion user contacts following them every week, the combined audience of the eight groups, which continued to increase significantly in 2022 on both broadcast and digital platforms, illustrates the confidence of audiences in the verified, pluralist and balanced information they deliver on all continents. In order to consolidate their unique, international and multilingual mission on information, the members of DG8 wished to stress the importance of guaranteeing the level and predictability of their financial resources, as well as preserving and reaffirming all the guarantees of their independence, which are a prerequisite for the confidence of their global audience.
(*) The DG8 comprises publicly funded international public service media organizations from democratic nations: ABC, BBC World Service, CBC/Radio-Canada, Deutsche Welle, France Médias Monde, NHK World Japan, SRG SSR/SWI swissinfo.ch, and U.S. Agency for Global Media. With more than 1,5 billion weekly user contacts, the DG8 broadcasters have a significant journalistic impact worldwide. Audiences and users, particularly in repressive countries, rely on trustworthy, fact-based reporting to circumvent censorship, disinformation, hate speech, and propaganda.
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