Bulgaria’s Foreign Minister Calls for United Front to Combat Fake News
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ekaterina Zaharieva sent an appeal to the global community to join efforts for combatting disinformation and fake news in a speech before the participants of the 6th News Agencies World Congress organized by BTA with the support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“The efforts of not only politicians but of the entire community must be focused on identifying disinformation and fake news and preventing their dissemination. Only together can we overcome the distrust within the society which they generate,” the Vice PM said.
The Bulgarian Foreign minister underscored that Bulgaria and its EU partners have already taken measures and set up a special unit with the European Commission for countering disinformation and fake news, which give rise to such negative phenomena as populism, hate speech, intolerance and extreme nationalism. “It is exactly here, on the Balkans, a winged phrase was coined almost a century ago saying that “a mosquito and a politician can both be killed with a newspaper”. Today it is even easier and the impact is more far-reaching – it can be done with a few mouse clicks or a post on the Internet,” Zaharieva said before the participants of the congress whose theme this year is “The Future of News”.
In times of globalization and high technologies the traditional journalism has special responsibility – it has to be a guarantor of authenticity and reliability of the information, Minister Zaharieva stressed.
She pointed out that media’s credibility rating has slumped worldwide. According to a recent research by the Reuters Institute, the confidence in mass media around the globe has decreased by 2%, down to 42% as compared with the last year. The similar research carried out in Bulgaria shows that 40% of the population trust the news as a whole, while in France the share of those who trust in the news has shrunk by 14%, down to 24%. In Germany, a 13% slump is registered, down to 47% of the population.
“Maybe time has come to think over and challenge the winged phrase by the founder of CNN Ted Turner who said that “bad news is the best news,” Ekaterina Zahaieva said.
She wished to the journalists to defend their authority of the “Fourth Estate” with dignity and thanked the BTA for the perfect organization of the congress
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