Webinar held on 8 March 2021, 11:00 - 12:30 CET during CIRCOM's Learning From A Global Pandemic week-long programme of interactive Zoom sessions, 8 - 12 March 2021


In the second CIRCOM session of the “Learning From a Global Pandemic” week, three senior leaders of European media organisations shared their experiences of the last twelve months with BBC leadership expert Jane Kinghorn, discussing what worked and what did not, and the lessons they have learned which can be applied for the future.

Jane was joined by Marina Sapia, Head of the International Desk at RAI in Rome, Declan Wilson, Head of News for BBC England, and Head of Online at Hungarian broadcaster MTVA, Attila Leitner.

The session explored what the three leaders have learned during the pandemic, the successes they have enjoyed - such as the ability to adapt to flexible ways of working, while maintaining their output to the audience, and the failures they have learned from, which include the need to make themselves available to their teams when their leadership and guidance is required.

The interactive meeting also gave journalists from across Europe the opportunity to quiz the three managers, and raised issues and questions about how newsrooms will look in the post- Covid world, how newsroom leaders can avoid their staff “burning out”, and how broadcasters will react to the changing audience needs identified during the pandemic.

The overwhelming feeling was one of positivity:

Attila Leitner praised the resilience of his team: “The crisis in Hungary started about a year ago, and if someone would have told me that we’re going to be looking at a year like this I probably would have told them that this is going to be very, very difficult to overcome. But we somehow did, and we’re probably going to come out better at the end of it.

Marina Sapia stressed the importance of teamwork, and the courage her staff showed in carrying on through the darkest periods: ”We adapted and found ways to continue reporting on the ground, not just from the newsroom.

Declan Wilson stressed that while “the way of work has been changed forever” by the pandemic, regional news has become more important than ever in people’s lives, a trend that he sees increasing over the coming years.

Marina Sapia (left) and Declan Wilson (right)
Attila Leitner (left) and Jane Kinghorn (right)