25th Annual Conference - Bilbao 2007
Bilbao, Spain, 10 - 12 May 2007
Thursday, 10th May 2007
OPENING CEREMONY "THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC TELEVISION IN EUROPE": New challenges, new opportunities, new horizons
The 25th Circom Regional Conference kicked off punctually at 9:00. The opening ceremony was lead by Manuel Lombao, representative of RTVE. After welcoming the participants, he asked a one-minute silence in honour of Vanda Condurache, member of Circom and the Romanian Television.
The act was followed by speeches from Anita Bhalla (President of Circom Regional and Director of BBC Birmingham), Peter Sauer (General Secretary of Circom and executive of the public German TV), Ibon Areso (Deputy Mayor at the City Council of Bilbao), Jesus Mari Santos (Director of Presidency Affairs of RTVE Corporation) and Andoni Ortuzar (General Director of EiTB).
Anita Bhalla highlighted the Digital Terrestrial Television and commented on how the different European countries are preparing its launching. Peter Sauer explained Circom’s major strategies for the coming years, stressing, among other themes, the cooperation, the exchange, the formation and the development.
Andoni Ortuzar and Jesus Mari Santos focused on the function of EiTB and RTVE within Circom and within their respective fields. Finally, the representative of the Bilbao City Council, Ibon Areso, welcomed warmly the participants and invited them to enjoy the city’s leisure offers.
The 25th Annual Conference of Circom Regional, the European Association of Regional Television, took place in the Basque town of Bilbao from Thursday, May 10 to Saturday, May 12 and tackled the future of public television. This international conference hosted by Euskal Telebista and Radio Televisión Espanola gathered more than 200 professionals from 80 public media groups, from 38 countries.
PLENARY SESSION "PUBLIC TELEVISION IN EUROPE TODAY"
Chair: Pat LOUGHREY, BBC Director Nations & Regions
- Jesús Mª SANTOS, Director of Presidency Affairs, RTVE Corporation
- Bingen ZUPIRÍA, Director of ETB
- John BERNANDER, Vice President EBU - NRK/ TV
- Cathal GOAN, General Director of RTE
- Marius DRAGOMIR, Open Society Foundation
Public television nowadays in Europe
After the opening ceremony, the plenary session Thursday morning discussed the situation of the public television in Europe.
GREETING OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS MR. MICHELE DELEBARRE: Europe must be of the interest of the mass
Michel Delebarre, President of the Committee of the Regions, joined the 25th Circom Regional Conference, outside the programme. At about 2:00pm, he participated as a special guest in a session dealing with the importance of territorial communication on European issues.
Delabarre noted that Europe is now realising that citizens are not aware of European issues in general. Thus, he spoke to boost collaboration between different territorial media and the Committee of the Regions itself as a contents and information provider.
He specified that regional televisions and radios are between the Regional Association and citizens. In his opinion, these three agents share an only future. In Delabarre's words, work must be based on the framework of territorial information. "Europe –he assured- must be of the interest of the mass."
The Regional Association is the political assembly that lets local and regional bodies have their own voice within the European Union.
PLENARY SESSION "HISTORICAL MOMENT: THE CHALLENGE OF NEW TECHNOLOGY"
The first plenary session of Thursday afternoon discussed the challenge of new technology. Eladio Gutierrez (Director DTT, RTVE), Carmelo Garitaonaindia (University of the Basque Country), Pieter Sijpersma (Editor-in-Chief of Dutch newspaper) and Gino Albarico (Technical Manager of RAI) participated. Andy Griffe (BBC Controller of English Regions) moderated the session.
Eladio Gutierrez talked about Digital Terrestrial Television. He analyzed the actual situation, the analogical “black-out”, the offer of channels, the distribution of the publicity market and he pointed out some strategies.
Pieter Sijpersma talked about the evolution and the actual situation of the mass media.
Gino Albarico highlighted some issues in relation with the present technological panorama, the habits of the consumers in relation with the new technologies and analyzed as well the economic and business expectations of the future.
Finally, Carmelo Gartaonaindia tackled the digital revolution and the changes for television. He concluded that in this very competitive context local and regional media groups has some advantages: their interdependency with the territory, some times with their own language and almost always with a specific culture, and the interests they share with their audience.
PLENARY SESSION "NEW GENERATION OF JOURNALISM"
The new generation of journalism has been the protagonist of the last plenary session on Thursday afternoon, conducted by Michael Lally from the Irish public television RTE. Fran Llorente (Director of News Programmes TVE), David Dunkley and Mark Norman (Videojournalists) and Cristina Ruiz (Sociologist and Professor of Navarra Public University) gave their viewpoint on the new generation of journalism.
Fran Llorente, director of the News Programmes of TVE, talked about the citizen participation. He highlighted the new experience of TVE’s second channel “Camara Abierta” (Open Camera) based on videos, documents and reports received from television viewers. He also pointed out the experience of “Tengo una Pregunta para Usted” (I’ve a question for you), a televised debate in which participated Spain’s PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and the opposition’s leader Mariano Rajoy. Llorente said the adaptation of new journalism to a new society is one of TVE’s challenges.
Videojournalists David Dunkley and Mark Norman presented several of their video creations. Mark Norman is videojournalist of the BBC and winner of the Video Journalism Award.
Finally, Cristina Ruiz analyzed the issue from an academic and sociological viewpoint and highlighted the impact of new technology, as well as the importance of it in education.
Circom participants visit EiTB's new headquarters
The manager of Euskal Irrati Telebista Juan Diego welcomed Circom participants at the new EiTB headquarters in Bilbao. The representatives of those public TV channels and regional centres of the European Association of Regional Television attending the 25th Conference these days visited the headquarters that will soon shelter 600 EiTB workers (radio, television and Internet).
The premises have 31,000 square metres, doubling the current space the group has in Bizkaia (Iurreta, Bilbao and Zamudio) and will be the culmination of the DIGIBat project. The project aims to digitalise integrally the premises and equipment and boost EiTB's multimedia concept, joining all the means available in the current headquarters.
Friday, 11th May 2007
PLENARY SESSION "INFORMATION SOCIETY: CHALLENGES OF GLOBALISATION TO REGIONAL TV"
The Friday morning session of the 25th Annual Conference of Circom Regional kicked off with a plenary session on the challenges of globalisation to regional television, in which participated Josu Amezaga (University of the Basque Country), Tahir Abbas (University of Birmingham), Scott Rensberger (American International Broadcaster) and Luis Rivas (director News & Programmes of Euronews). The session was conducted by Anita Bhalla, president of Circom Regional.
The paper presented by Josu Amezaga and Edorta Arana, professors at the University of the Basque Country, on the new linguistic situation emerging in Europe gave rise to an intense debate. Europe hosts about 60 minority languages, spoken by about 50 million people. More than 56 million immigrants living in Europe have access to television through satellite. From a technical viewpoint, 9 of 10 people can access television in their own language. Nevertheless, English keeps on being the dominating language. Television by satellite reminds us the linguistic minorities. Amezaga focused on the Basque case. He concluded a “geolinguistic region” has been created.
Dr. Tahir Abbas, from the University of Birmingham, invited the participants to think about how we react in view of the Muslim community. According to him, in the globalization era, public media groups offer a very vague idea of the Arab world, specially after 11-S and 11-M, and promotes a stereotypical viewpoint. Tahir called to eliminate the idea of radicalism usually linked to this community and to offer an adequate context.
Scott Rensberger said mass media should serve society and their main objective shouldn’t be the making of money. In the US, about 52 percent thinks that news will become worse in the future. Rensberger also criticized the use of dubbing in news programmes and other programmes, as subtitling brings the television viewer in touch with the minority language.
Luis Rivas, director of Euronews, explained the functioning of Euronews, which makes use of regional news and world news. He agreed with Tahir that we all have stereotypes, but we should go beyond. According to Rivas, it’s important that we all have a European vision, but there is no European television channel in Europe...
WORKSHOP:" HANDS ON: DIGITAL NEWSROOM EDITING IN THE REGIONS"
Chair: Anna ROBERTS, Thomson Foundation
Glen MULCAHY, RTE Ireland
Representative from AVID
Andre MEIER, Winner Video Editing
PLENARY SESSION "CREATIVE TV PROGRAMMES IN REGIONAL TELEVISION"
The second part of the morning session reflected on the creation of the regional programs conducted by Pedro Gonzalez, from TVE. Joselu Blanco, director of programmes of Euskal Telebista; Uwe Walter, from Waltermania; Jorge Coira, director of Ficción from TVG, and José Mari Benet i Jornet, in charge of fiction in TV3 talked about their most emblematic programs. Zuzana Kostelnikova, member of the panel of judges of the Circom Awards and Isabelle Pantic, from the French Institut National de l’Audiovisual rounded off the morning session.
Director of Programmes of ETB José Luis Blanco talked about some of the successful products of the Basque channel, which, according to him, explain "what the Basques are like and what our tastes are". The mystery series "Balbemendi", premiered last year, the humor program "Vaya Semanita", documentaries such as "Euskal Herria: la Mirada Mágica" and future projects such as "Edo Zu edo Ni" were some of the examples given.
Uwe Walter showed some ways to do regional television in Germany, different ways to tell stories. He emphasized the importance of promoting creativity taking as examples successful programs that give the leading role to the citizens or build bridges between different cultures.
Jorge Coira talked about the importance of fiction in Galicia and the huge step forward that supposed the TV series "Mareas Vivas", a social phenomenon in the northern region.
José Mari Benet i Jornet mentioned other fiction products successful in Catalonia such as "Poble Nou”, pioneer daily series in 1994, and “Ventdelpla”, current social phenomenon.
Zuzana Kostelnikova, member of the Circom Awards jury announced some of this year's winners. Isabelle Pantic, from the French Institut National de l’Audiovisual francés, talked about the INA, the first audiovisual archive center in the world and the first digital image databank in Europe.
WORKSHOP “OLD & NEW TECHNOLOGIES: DTT – MOBILE PHONES- INTERNET”
Chair: Peter SAUER, BR, Secretary General of Circom Regional
Javier CALERA, Director of Vilaumedia
Raier TIEF, Bayernischer Rundfunk
Gary HOLLAND, Winner Web Site Award
PLENARY SESSION “MEET THE WINNERS OF PRIX CIRCOM”
The winners of the Prix Circom Regional Awards 2007 were presented Friday afternoon. The panel of judges was formed by David Lowen, Chairman of the Prix Circom Regional Awards, Zuzana Kostelnikova, for the Magazine section, John Lindes, for the Documentary section, and Quentin Smith, for the Sport section.
Albert Knetchel from France 3 Alsace won the Sport award for Et dieu créa le foot, which shows the close relationship between football and beauty in Brazil, which Albert says is "a little cynical". Albert is really fond of Brazil, where he has already shot four films.
According to David Lowen, this superb coproduction encouraged the Circom organization to establish a new coproduction section next year. "Circom awards the production of a region, no matter where it is broadcast", David Lowen remarked.
Peter Bäckström, director of the Swedish channel SVT was awarded for his creative magazine Re: Agera. This magazine is aimed at a youth audience, "that which is usually forgotten at the regional television", according to Bäckström. The Swedish director explained the magazine mixes leisure and entertainment.
Germany's Andre Meier from MDR Leipzig won the Video Editing award for Liebte der osten anders? Sex im geteilten Deutschland. Gunhild Saetre (NRK More and Romsdal) won the special award F3 and Irene Thyrri (V2 Ostjylland) was awarded for her documentary Fanget som luder.
The Hosts of the 25th Circom Regional Annual Conference are two Broadcasting Organisations in Spain - RTVE and EITB.
The Letter of Agreement was signed by Manuel Lombao Lombao, on behalf of RTVE, and Andoni Ortuzar Arruabarrena, on behalf of EITB, on one side and Anita Bhalla, President of Circom Regional and Marija Nemcic, Secretary General of Circom Regional, on other side, after the Executive Committee Meeting in Bilbao on 10th November 2006.