A week-long programme of interactive Zoom sessions looking at the way our broadcasters have adapted to survive the COVID-19 pandemic

March 8th - 12th 2021

The Brochure


This has been one of the most challenging years professionally and personally for all of us. Working practices have had to change, but the common goal of serving our audiences has remained at our core. The pandemic has seen an increased appetite for trusted journalism and a renewed interest in what we do.

At the heart of CIRCOM’s ethos is the sharing of ideas and solutions. During this week of interactive sessions we will be reflecting on many aspects of our working lives which have been impacted by COVID-19, including leadership, digital transformation, storytelling and mental health. Hopefully you will find something here that is interesting and thought- provoking, perhaps even enough to share your experiences. Crucially, the week is not only about what we’ve learnt but how we apply that learning to our future audiences.

Neil Bennett, Editor, BBC West Online & Television News


Monday, March 8th 2021


    Monday, 8 March 2021, 11:00 - 12:30 CET

Connecting with our audience has never been more important for broadcasters than it has been during the pandemic. But how do we find them? What are the subjects they are talking about, and what is important to them? Social media is a crucial tool for broadcasters to support traditional output, but also to reach new audiences.
Hosted by BBC England’s Head of Social Media, David Tracz, this session will tap into expert advice from across Europe on how to harness the increasing power of social.

1David Tracz (pictured right) is in charge of supporting the social media teams at the BBC’s local radio stations and regional newsrooms. David acknowledges that broadcasters are in the middle of a huge period of change, and he believes that rethinking the way we harness the power of social media is a crucial step to reaching new audiences, in support of the traditional linear offering.
David will be joined by Oliver Ronning and Hilde Lorentsen from NRK.

Register for this and other events across the week >>


    Monday, 8 March 2021, 15:00 - 16:30 CET

How well prepared were broadcasters to deal with the pandemic, and how have we coped during this period?
Three senior leaders of European media organisations share their experiences of the last twelve months, discussing what worked and what did not, and the lessons they have learned which can be applied for the future.
This session will feature Declan Wilson, Head of News for BBC England, Attila Leitner from MTVA in Hungary and Marina Sapia from Italian broadcaster RAI.

from left to right: Declan Wilson, Marina Sapia and Attila Leitner 

Register for this and other events across the week >> 


Tuesday, March 9th 2021


    Tuesday, 9 March 2021, 11:00 - 12:30 CET

Over the last year, broadcasters have been faced with the unenviable task of processing huge amounts of complicated data and statistics related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding and interpreting R-rates and infection numbers per-1000 of the population, and then communicating this accurately to the audience is a challenge.
In this session we hear how a volunteer group of academics and data experts in Slovenia have crunched these numbers and worked with the media to keep the public informed.

Andra┼ż Zorko
(pictured top right) is the founder of Slovenian consumer data specialists Valicon. He is a regular contributor to the media in his homeland, offering expertise on politics and opinion polls. During the pandemic he helped promote the COVID-19 Tracker project, which connected dozens of volunteers from Slovenian academic and research groups, with the common goal of collecting and deciphering data related to the virus.

Andrej Srakar
(pictured middle right) is assistant professor in the Economics and Business School at the University of Ljubljana, and an expert in econometrics, statistics and cultural economics. A member of the COVID-19 Tracker team, Andrej is responsible for the pandemic data collection and interpretation in Slovenia.


Rob England
(pictured bottom right) is the head of BBC England’s Data Unit, which provides data driven journalism and analysis to the BBC’s regional teams. Throughout the pandemic, Rob has been providing daily figures to the regional teams to help reporters keep their audiences informed of the situation where they live.

Register for this and other events across the week >> 


    Tuesday, 9 March 2021, 15:00 - 16:30 CET

Viewing figures for public service television news output sky-rocketed across Europe during the pandemic. Our digital audiences have also grown.
But will viewers stay with us after the crisis is over? What have we learned during the last year which will help us better serve our audiences across all platforms in the future.
This session will reflect on these behavioural changes, and discuss how we can build on the trust that audiences have in us, in a post-COVID world.

5Maike Olij (pictured) is a freelance journalism consultant from the Netherlands. In 2020 Maike, with former YLE Director of News and Current Affairs Atte Jääskeläinen, wrote a landmark report for the EBU called “Public Service Journalism in the Viral Age”, and in this special session she will look at the impact the pandemic has had on our audiences, and what this might mean for the future.

Register for this and other events across the week >>


Wednesday, March 10th 2021


    Wednesday, 10 March 2021, 11:00 - 12:30 CET

The widespread nature of fake news, troll farms and suspicions of foreign influence on domestic elections can feel overwhelming for journalists. The sources of this misinformation are little known, but can be tracked down using open source intelligence techniques.
In this session Guillaume Kuster and Amaury Lesplingart will introduce you to tools and techniques to help your investigations, which in partnership with your journalistic skills will enable you to verify claims, debunk myths and even unmask imposters.

Guillaume Kuster
(pictured top right) enjoyed a long career working in mainstream broadcasting in his native France as a reporter, presenter and director. He created his own training company to share his experiences in journalism, as well as his knowledge of tech, storytelling and content creation strategies, and now works with many of Europe’s largest media organisations.

7Amaury Lesplingart (pictured bottom right) is an entrepreneur, software developer and specialist in open source intelligence. He is the co-founder of Check First, a Finnish software company whose focus is to equip journalists with the best possible investigation and information tools and techniques.

Register for this and other events across the week >> 


    Wednesday, 10 March 2021, 15:00 - 16:30 CET

Digital change is coming to our newsrooms, whether we are ready for it or not. Audiences are finding new ways to access content. So how do we make sure we remain part of their lives through this change?
In this session, journalist and trainer Mia Costello finds out more about the radical steps taken by Swedish broadcaster SVT in the digital sphere, and hears about other digital developments across Europe.

Christina Johannesson
(pictured top right) leads on culture change and leadership at Swedish public service broadcaster SVT. She supports the digital transformation of the news organisation and is leading an extensive project aimed at changing the leadership culture to ensure audiences are better served on digital platforms. Christina has a journalistic background as a reporter, news anchor and SVT’s European correspondent in Brussels.

9Anton Svendsen (pictured bottom right) is editor-in-chief at SVT Nyheter Väst in Gothenburg, Sweden. For the past decade he’s worked to move the focus of SVT news from broadcast to digital, running several successful projects aimed at increasing audience engagement. He’ll be sharing his experience of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to digital transformation.

Register for this and other events across the week >>


Thursday, March 11th 2021


    Thursday, 11 March 2021, 11:00 - 12:30 CET

The last year has taken its toll on everybody, not least the people within our newsrooms. A significant number of journalists reporting on COVID are showing signs of anxiety and depression. What’s contributing to this, and how can they be supported.
Journalist and trainer Mia Costello discusses the latest research with Meera Selva from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and looks at techniques to help us manage our emotional wellbeing with Warsaw-based mindfulness coach Zuzanna Ziomecka.

Meera Selva
(pictured top right) is the Deputy Director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at Oxford University. In a 2020 study, carried out with the University of Toronto, on the psychological impact of COVID-19 on journalists, Meera revealed emotional distress in more than 80% of those studied.


11Zuzanna Ziomecka (pictured bottom right) is a chief editor turned development trainer for leaders in media, NGOs and business. Based in the Polish capital, Warsaw, Zuzanna specialises in mindful leadership and coaching, offering practical tools and techniques to help journalists build resilience during times of stress.

Register for this and other events across the week >> 


  • session REPORTING COVID-19
    Thursday, 11 March 2021, 15:00 - 16:30 CET

TV news output across the world looks very different now to a year ago. Our journalists and crews have had to adapt to a "new normal" involving Zoom interviews and microphones on long boom poles. What has it been like for reporters carrying out their daily jobs? What challenges have they had to overcome and what tricks and tools have they learned during the pandemic?
This panel discussion, hosted by Caoimhe Ní Laighin, will feature frontline stories from across Europe.

Caoimhe Ní Laighin
(pictured top right) works for Ireland’s national TV and radio broadcaster RTÉ, and also reports for TG4, the country’s Irish language broadcaster. As a frontline journalist, Caoimhe has reported extensively throughout the pandemic on all issues related to COVID-19. In addition to her decade-plus experience as a reporter, she has also made several documentaries.

Géraldine Dreyer
(pictured middle right) is a reporter for France 3 Alsace, one of the 24 regional channels of France Télévisions. She is based in the city of Mulhouse, where one of the first COVID-19 clusters occurred in France. She has reported throughout the pandemic, and has had to adapt to a new way of working.


Jon Ariztimuño
(pictured bottom right) is the News Director of Telemadrid. Madrid was hit extremely hard at the beginning of the pandemic, and Telemadrid became the main hub of information for the city’s residents.

Register for this and other events across the week >>


Friday, March 11th 2021


    Friday, 12 March 2021, 11:00 - 12:30 CET

Newsrooms now, more than ever, need to perfect the skills of their staff and keep them interested in new technologies and practices, from the newsroom to the technical departments. COVID forced many trainers to re-think the way they work.

Spending 8 hours before a computer is not, we learned, the best way to engage a group of delegates and up their game. This session focuses on case studies and tips and tricks to deliver better remote training and keep the interest of trainees and keep them engaged.

Guillaume Kuster
(pictured top right) enjoyed a long career working in mainstream broadcasting in his native France as a reporter, presenter and director. He created his own training company to share his experiences in journalism, as well as his knowledge of tech, storytelling and content creation strategies, and now works with many of Europe’s largest media organisations.

Damien Van Achter
is a former journalist (RTBF, Ovni), entrepreneur and trainer. He's focusing on editorial innovation and entrepreneurial journalism with his own "Lean Journalism Canvas” - a framework he developed to help journalists and newsrooms conquer new markets and audiences.

Register for this and other events across the week >>


    Friday, 12 March 2021, 15:00 - 16:30 CET

The deadline for entries to this year’s awards is fast approaching, so what are the ingredients for your piece to be a success?
In this session David Lowen will meet last year’s winner of the Grand Prix, Lea Zilber, from Belgian broadcaster RTBF, for “Street Tease”. We will also hear from HRT’s Daniela Drastata, who has both won and judged in the CIRCOM awards.
Finally Ben Moore from the BBC will talk about his winning Video Journalism entry, and the impact it has had on his career.

13David Lowen (pictured) is a television executive with an illustrious CV. He held several senior positions at UK broadcaster ITV, including leading the network’s digital terrestrial television launch - the first of its kind in the world. David is also a former President of CIRCOM, and the current President of the awards. On top of this he is a trustee of the Royal Television Society in the UK, chair of the board of Leeds Beckett University, and works on a consultancy basis with many of Europe’s leading broadcasters.

Register for this and other events across the week >>