Crown Prince Haakon was present at the opening of the General Assembly of the European Broadcasting Union in Norway on Thursday. This year, the Norwegian state owned TV-channel NRK is host to the meeting in Oslo.
The Crown Prince was the one to welcome the European Broadcasting to Norway. The Crown Prince also shared some of his TV-memories from when he was a child. Crown Prince Haakon said: “When I was a kid, we had only one Norwegian TV channel: the NRK. I must admit that some Saturday evenings with my family, gathered in front of the TV, could be a small challenge. My interests and wishes and what was that evening’s entertainment was not always in sync. We watched the weirdest of shows. Still, all of us did it – and we did it together. And the day after, when we went to school or work, everyone else had seen the same.”
The Crown Prince also addressed the changes that have taken place in recent years and the commercialization of the TV industry. Crown Prince Haakon said: “Many things have changed since those days. Technology is transformed. The media landscape is obviously very different. Today in Norway we have TV2, handheld devices and, of course, the internet.”
To many people’s surprise, the Crown Prince also commented on the new existence of fake news, saying: “The truth, the reality, can be uncomfortable. Public service media is in many ways the antidote to fake news. As you all know, today, trust is a scarce resource, a most valuable means. And when we doubt, relevance diminishes, and we turn to something else. Perhaps to fake news, not the real news. Which is why we need the independent public service media even more – committed to the truth and to high journalistic standards.”
Following the speech, EBU’s President and BBC Director General Tony Hall invited Netflix Chief Reed Hastings to an open discussion. They talked about the future of TV. The European Broadcasting Union is the world’s leading organization for public broadcasters with 117 members from 56 countries.
The organization also has 34 associated members from Asia, Australia, Africa and America. The event in Oslo has a lot of support with more registered broadcasters than ever.