Celebrating World Press Freedom Day, the OSCE Mission to Montenegro and its media programme partners gathered in Podgorica to discuss the special role that quality journalism and fact checking can play when facing disinformation.
“Pluralistic and independent media are the core of freedom of the media, but in order to identify and address false and discriminatory information, particularly on social media, quality journalism, ethical behaviour, and fact-checking must be brought into the equation”, said Head of OSCE Mission to Montenegro Maryse Daviet.
Representatives of Montenegrin media outlets, NGOs dealing with media issues, as well as the Council of Europe and EU Delegation to Montenegro, attended the event. As OSCE said in the press release, the topic of the discussion was the special role that quality journalism and fact checking can play when facing disinformation.
“For more positive and forward-looking dialogue in our modern societies, we need to strengthen all reliable sources of information”, Daviet said.
Nataša Ružić, a professor at the University of Montenegro, said that we all live in a time when new techniques and methods of manipulation are emerging at an incredible speed and that the general public is informed about them only when they cause damage and become a serious threat to society.
“In the era of false news and misinformation, media literacy and fact-checking are the only way to get to the truth. However, can we trust unconditionally organizations that carry out information verification? The answer is obvious. In search of information, we can rely primarily on ourselves, developing techniques and skills that will help us to be sceptical when we receive messages sent to us by the media”, Ružić said.
This year’s celebration of World Press Freedom Day is inspired by the theme chosen by UNESCO for the occasion: for “Media and Democracy: Journalism and Elections in Times of Disinformation”. The OSCE Mission to Montenegro will continue to support any efforts that allow the media to play a constructive role in the future development of Montenegro./ibna