Nathalie Jaquet (Radio Télévision Suisse)
The way media is produced five or ten years from now – and the physical spaces used – will be very different from today. The changes that are already happening with respect to workflows, technologies, content formats and the work environment will only accelerate, as public service media (PSM) organizations transform, often occupying new or refurbished buildings. Undertaking that transformation successfully is a big challenge for every EBU Member, and particularly for those that are now designing and investing in new facilities.
The New Builders Initiative (NBI) is bringing EBU Members together to plan the future: to imagine media production a decade from now and to define the best ways to get there. Participants are invited to exchange ideas, knowledge and best practices, usually during an on-site visit with a broadcaster that has already started creating new facilities. The programme serves to accompany Members on their journey.
NBI takes a multilateral approach to its mission, drawing on expertise from across the EBU and inviting participants with different backgrounds to engage. For example, the EBU’s Technology & Innovation department coordinates work to anticipate the impact of ever more intelligent tools and the increasing “dematerialization” of facilities. The latter trend is a natural outcome of embracing IT, the cloud and IP networks for production infrastructures. This technology-focused work is a key part of the NBI remit.
But the conversation is not limited to technology-related questions. Taking a lead from the EBU Academy, NBI is also examining how Member workplaces are organized and how the change process is managed. The range of skills and competences needed within PSM organizations will evolve along with workflows and new media content requirements. Change management will be an essential element of the transformation process.
BRICKS, BYTES AND BRAINS
The scope of NBI’s work takes in topics such as the shift to IP-based production infrastructures, workplaces and spaces – with a particular focus on newsrooms – and project- and change management. Each topic will be addressed from several angles, encapsulated in three words: bricks, bytes and brains.
NBI has been under way for more than a year, with active participants and several visits already completed, including to BR in Munich, VRT in Brussels and Media City Bergen. I have now become chair of the programme and anticipate that we will continue to organize two to three visits per year. Our next visit, to CBC/Radio-Canada in Montréal, is scheduled for May.
This is an open initiative. It is not limited to those EBU Members that are actually constructing new buildings or facilities; it also encompasses those developing new concepts for how media is produced.
A survey has been circulated to the more than 100 members of the NBI group (representing 32 PSM organizations), to see where they are with respect to their own projects. The results of the survey will help to refine the focus of NBI in future. We are also very interested in hearing from any Member that would be willing to host a visit within the framework of NBI.
This article was first published in issue 39 of tech-i magazine.