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OPINION Frontally against the virus of the modern-day world – false news

by: ZORAN IVANOV

The Internet and other new digital wonders, like any other developmental technological revolution, this one as well, brought mankind many benefits, but also many headaches. With just one very private tool, the mobile phone, and with the help of the Internet as contemporary transportation means accessible to everyone, from three to one-hundred-three year-olds, in just one moment transformed humanity from a consumer of information to a creator of information.

Because of these technologies, because of the widest availability of a variety of news, on the one hand, it is ever more difficult to manipulate with people. On the other hand, those same consumers are in the possibility of creating authentic news, but also of placing false and manipulative information. Hence, in a plural democratic social environment, traditional media have gained strong competition both among the countless web portals, and among every citizen individually as a potential co-creator of news. In such an array of possibilities for creating and placing news, in such disloyal competition towards the traditional media, and in efforts to gain readability through attractiveness, but also in deliberate planting of lies of lucrative motives, from the most ordinary character caprices of their creators, to well-thought out and strategically planned social wars, societies, even ours, are faced with a problem called false news.

Countries have opened a front against the phenomenon of false news for some time now. Therefore, it’s good that our government, finally, knowledgeably and strategically, is engaging in those endeavours to create an environment for its citizens, for the institutions, and for the entire society, to protect themselves from lies and their consequences.

The announced strategy that the government promoted is comprehensive, integral, and includes all segments of society. Through institutional activities, to engaging the civil sector by promoting educational programs for recognizing false news. The goal is to create a wide front against the virus of the modern-day world.

Certainly, the greatest responsibility for the truth still lies in the institutions and the editorial offices of traditional media. The inertia of the official sources of information, their non-openness and slowness enable, open space for manipulations. Journalists are powerless if their access to authentic information is disabled by the state bodies and institutions. Hence, the emergence of assumptions and speculations, and, hence, the responsibility of institutions for timely and accurate informing of the public, but also the obligation and responsibility of journalism, of the media and their editorial policies for authenticity and truthfulness.

The strategy that the government promoted against false news can succeed if it’s implemented without a breath, continuously, long-term and if, as they announced, it is by including all social stakeholders comprehensively and most broadly. Especially if it relies on the experience of the most vital segment, the civil sector. For the civil sector to be the main educational training center that, judging also by resent experiences and practices, has motives and capacities and can take the lion’s share of the burden in the fight again the modern evil – false news.

Translation: N. Cvetkovska

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