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Executive staff from around 250 television stations from thirty countries are meeting these days in the Polish city of Poznan, at the 40th edition of the annual conference of the European Association of Regional Televisions (Circom) , which at the end of 2023 signed with UVigo the agreement for the creation of the first chair promoted by a European university. The central objective of this agreement was the development of a study on the level of adaptation of regional public broadcasters to the digital transformation process, work being carried out by researchers from the Faculty of Communication and the first results of which were presented this Friday on the second day of this event. The academic director of the Circom-UVigo Chair, Xosé Rúas, and the researcher Talia Rodríguez were in charge of presenting the work of conducting surveys and interviews with managers and directors of broadcasters from different countries that is being carried out with the aim of knowing the work they do in the fields of innovation and digitization.

On the second day of this conference, UVigo researchers presented the work carried out so far within the framework of a chair that has already given rise to “several academic publications in indexed books and journals”, as well as participation “in several national and international congresses”. as Rúas points out. The academic director of the department was in charge of presenting the surveys and interviews by videoconference that are being carried out to find out “how they adapt to innovation and the digital environment” different televisions integrated in Circom, an association in which CRTVG is represented, among others Spanish regional television corporations.

This study, which will give rise to “an internal report that we will present in October”, will also address another series of issues, such as the work they carry out in the fight against disinformation and the initiatives referred to “the cultural and linguistic identity” of these broadcasters public, also defined by their character of proximity. Another of the questions that is sought to be known, explained the researcher, is which are the programs with the highest audience in the different time slots and to what extent these generate an interaction between viewers on social networks. In addition to the objectives of the study, the participants in this conference were also able to see a “first progress of results”, carried out by Rodríguez Martelo, which made it possible to highlight the existence of “different rhythms in adapting to the digital environment”.

A pioneering initiative that they will seek to continue

As Rúas recalls, the University of Vigo is the first European university to promote a chair with this association, which allows to delve into a field that has not been analyzed until now. “Yes, there are many investigations on national media, but not on regional public television”, this researcher emphasizes. That’s why I set as future goals both to renew the chair and to try to promote “a network of research and collaboration”, in which both universities and television stations from different European countries will participate. The “first step”, he points out, will be to try to carry out “a collective book with contributions from professionals and academics”, which allows to deepen this field of study, while promoting “synergies between the professional world and the researcher”.