ENEX Coordinators Meeting Sofia, Bulgaria

bTV, Bulgaria proved to be a wonderful host of ENEX’s annual coordinators meeting on March 30/31.  The meeting was attended by over 60 editorial representatives from across the ENEX partnership including many ‘first-timers’.  In a busy two-day schedule, Sky News presented the first plans for the Coronation of King Charles which will take place on May 6 at Westminster Abbey in London. 

Artem Oblovatny from Ukraine’s 1+1 spoke about the continuing challenge of reporting the brutal war in their own country. A special video prepared for the conference by 1+1 can be viewed here:  https://youtu.be/gysfjvEuLJw

Anton Hekimyan, Director of News and Sport at bTV Media Group

Delegates were welcomed to Sofia by Anton Hekimyan, Director of News and Sport at bTV Media Group who broke off from election rehearsals for the country’s 5th general election in two years which took place on Sunday April 2nd. 

Hamza El Attar presented the latest developments in ENEX’s LiveU Distribution network and delegates also heard about plans to introduce AI translation and transcription features to ENEX’s new NEP distribution platform including this video update  

NEP replaces ENEX’s old Newslink server system in partner’s newsrooms – software replacing hardware.  Not everyone needs to be an NEP user right now, the platform is mainly for those whose job it is to upload material to ENEX or those who want to integrate the pushing of ENEX videos into your own video server.

Want to know more? Then click on this link for everything to be explained! https://www.enex.news/nep-news-exchange-platform/  In the coming months we’ll develop NEP even more and hope to introduce translation and transcription functions to our content making it easier for you to interact with ENEX.

AI technologies also featured in a special address from Professor Charlie Beckett from the London School of Economics AI Journalism unit. 

He gave a broadly positive outlook about the possibilities of AI and machine learning in the broadcast and digital industry but also cautioned that text generative applications still require more development before newsrooms should adopt them.

Sophie Merle, Editor in Chief of M6 Info (and ENEX first time attendee) introduced how M6 is leveraging the TikTok platform to attract a new audience to M6.  Their TikTok service attracts nearly a quarter of a million followers with many posts going viral and attracting high engagement from the audience in France and in French-speaking countries. This service is made using a very small digital team filming, compiling, editing the content themselves. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Owpd_KSJlPA

VR technology can help train journalists

In a special interacitive session conference attendees were taken to a street riot and weather disaster using VR headsets designed to re-create some of the most challenging situations for journalists in the field. Aela Callan, Co-Founder of Head Set explained how VR technology can help train journalists for a variety of safety disciplines more efficiently than other residential courses. More information can be found at www.headsetimmersive.com  

The Deputy Prime Minister of Bulgaria for EU Funds Management, Atanas Pekanov, spoke about the country’s drive to enter the Euro zone and Schengen area. Both initiatives are made more complicated by the political outlook of Bulgaria which has held (too) frequent elections to try to establish stable government. A fifth parliamentary election was held just two days after the ENEX meeting, again without a clear result leading to difficult coalition talks.

Stations in Eastern and Central Europe from the CME Media Group now make up the largest number channels in ENEX owned by the same parent company. Adrian Wells, Managing Director of ENEX, said ‘’We have long wanted to hold one of our meetings at a CME station to underline the importance of those channels to ENEX. As it happens bTV managed to make this dream a reality and stage one of the most successful editorial meetings of recent years.’’