The Balkan Forum
Take a few minutes to answer this question: was there a piece of news that you recently read online or watched on TV that altered your emotional state?
Then ask yourself: how did that piece of news make you feel? Did it encourage you to think about taking a certain action?
If you answer the first question with “yes”, and you can identify your reactions to the following two questions, then the author of that piece of news has achieved the intended result. That is, through a carefully crafted message, to make you think and act in a way that serves the agenda of the author. Whoever she, he, they, or it that the author may be.
The present-day social fabric is under the pressure of disinformation, propaganda, partial truths, and fabricated facts. Such complex information disorder exacerbates already-existing mistrust, fueling tensions. The digital platforms create an environment that is conducive for propagation of fake news and feed the information disorder. Anyone can create and disseminate content.
Faced with this level of information disorder, collaboration between ethical journalism and civic engagement is critical to raising the level of access to verified information, to responsible use of digital tools, and to honing critical and analytical thinking.
Ethical journalism, education, and citizen engagement contribute to developing the skills needed to filter fake news and propaganda and invest in peace engagement, producing benefits that improve the lives of all.
At the workshop “Resilient Journalism Countering Disinformation and Propaganda” (5-10 December 2022) in Skopje, journalists and activists from the region initiated a collaboration network with counterparts from Ukraine and Germany. As the first step to establishing the annual Week of Resilient Journalism and Society, such network contributes to media literacy at all levels.
About The Balkan Forum
The Balkan Forum promotes a shared vision for the region based on economic integration, prosperity, and sustainable peace. By facilitating cross-border and cross-sector dialogue we generate new thinking on regional challenges and opportunities, help incubate ideas to catalyze regional initiatives.