In a public statement, The Global Task Force formed by the public broadcasters and media ABC (Australia); ZDF(Germany); France Télévisions (France); BBC (United Kingdom); RNZ (New Zealand); SVT (Sweden) and CBC/Radio-Canada (Canada) expressed the support to the community in this Pandemic time.
"We are seeing audiences turn to public media in record numbers for the trusted news and reliable information that is our hallmark. As with all organisations, we have had to adapt to cover COVID-19 in depth. Each of us is also playing an important role for our democracies and holding our public institutions and politicians to account, to ensure there is transparency in their actions", said the document.
"The Global Task Force is particularly proud of the speed with which public media across the world have responded to the challenge of supporting the education of children who are learning at home by bringing together brilliant partners from across the public and private spheres. Public service media is uniquely placed to play this role. Meanwhile our promise to entertain helps keep spirits up, especially among our older audiences who are the most vulnerable."
WHAT THE PUBLIC MEDIA ARE DOING
The ABC has launched a $5 million Fresh Start Fund to support the sustainability of Australia’s production sector and has also expanded its education schedule to broadcast additional curriculum-linked content to children; The BBC opened the doors to its biggest ever education offer and the teaching roll call looks impressive with familiar names including Sir David Attenborough helping youngsters to learn.
CBC/Radio-Canada has launched several initiatives to support the Canadian creative industry including the Digital Originals funding initiative, in partnership with the Canada Council for the Arts, and the CBC Creative Relief Fund to provide immediate, urgent support to Canadian creators and France Télévisions mobilized all of its channels, including France 4 dedicated to youth, to ensure that children from primary to high school can continue with their schooling thanks to Lumni, its new educational platform.
On the other hand, RNZ’s daily Coronavirus podcast on the Covid-19 Coronavirus is hosted by RNZ National presenter, Indira Stewart providing the latest news on the COVID-19 Coronavirus and its impact on New Zealanders. SVT has created topics that include the spread of the disease in Sweden and in the world, the economic effects and how social distancing works. SVT offers commercial media to use the data visualisations and broadcasts from press conferences for free.
Finally ZDF is adapting its programming continuously. An overview on the changes and special broadcasts including various extra information and interactive offers on the Corona pandemic can be accessed at ZDF web portal. One prominent example in the context of the Corona pandemic is a specific service for kids and special content offered with learning material and topics for homeschooling.