Resisting commercial correctness in newsrooms 

AEJ session on Difference Day-
World Press Freedom Day

May 3, 2018, Bozar-Ter Arken,

Brussels, 1.30-3.00PM 

Dear friends and colleagues,

We would like to invite you to our session for Difference Day on May 3, at Bozar, Brussels. We also remind you that our third debate on Think Tanks third will be  this Tuesday April 24 in Bozar. This time Confrontations EuropeNotre Europe and EP ThinkTank get the floor. We still have some places available, don’t miss it! You can also check the interview with the Program Manager of Difference Day, Ilja Bakker for Radio Gold.

Register for DD18

Transition from analogue to digital technologies in media has brought along a formidable change in speed and scale of interaction between all of us worldwide. The importance of so-called new media continues to grow. Most traditional news media have by now understood they need to reach out to where the public is having their conversations and getting their information. Even when it is done well the primary motive though for engagement in new media and better audience data by traditional news brands is too often short-term commercialism. In this mentality, as it is rightly pointed out by London School of Economic media expert Charlie Beckett, only the mercantile value justifies the existence of the products and only those with the merchant spirit within the media company are qualified to decide which news to bring forward. This often lacks respect for quality in journalism tending to eliminate in its worst cases the distinctions with advertising and different forms of fake news.

We go and look in this debate for initiatives of news media companiesthroughout Europe and the world working in a different spirit, resisting this commercial correctness, with the objective of bringing less boring news and news of a better quality. How do they work at empowering their journalists internally against e.g. time pressure and what are the technological responses they are working at? Should journalists be frustrated by these developments or be spurred to use new tech? What is the stake of the art in journalism about fake image and video detection? Is cooperation between European Companies to develop new technological instruments such as InVID, a Horizon 2020 project, part of the solution? InVID being announced as a a verification Swiss Army Knife for images, giving the tools to journalists for fast image forensics analysis. What are good examples of partnerships between Google and traditional media companies? What is being done within public broadcasters such as the Belgian RTBF, active member of EBU? How does e.g. Dutch Fund for Stimulation of Journalism SVDJ helps the journalists and the media companies develop new sustainable business models?


  • Benedicte AutretHead of News Partnerships Google for the UK, Ireland & Benelux
  • Jean Jacques Jespers (tbc), Ancien journaliste à la RTBF, Président du Conseil déontologique pour la Presse Francophone en Belgique.
  • Peter Smet, Stimuleringsfonds voor de Journalistiek SVDJ (Pays-Bas).
  • Denis Teyssou, AFP MediaLab R&D editorial manager, InVID EU project innovation manager


  • Gian Paolo Accardo, Executive Editor at Vox Europe, Secretary General of the Association of European Journalists in France (AJE)