-The idea of propaganda and disinformation is to practically erode the democratic values and liberal topics on which societies are set. It practically is to overthrow an entire government or an entire society with an unfired bullet. Therefore, we must not withdraw and we must not give up. We must not stop here, we must take a more strategic approach as a state and as a NATO member, and as an EU candidate, says Vesna Poposka, Dean of the Faculty of Law at the “Vizion” University in Gostivar, in the interview for CIVIL Media.
“The situation with disinformation, unfortunately, I cannot say is getting better and I am not an optimist that something will change for the better soon, on the contrary, I think that it will be one of the key strategic tools for gaining power. As you know, the context of the security environment and of the war have also changed, and the way in which countries fight each other or conquer certain strategic goals, outlined Poposka.
Among else, she said that we have numerous examples of the kind of damage disinformation can cause, the COVID pandemic was the most noticeable example, now in the context of the Russian-Ukrainian war we are again facing the same challenges. But also at home, where according to one study, the biggest problem regarding disinformation or the biggest source of disinformation are the political parties.
According to Poposka, disinformation is entering into the hybrid warfare or the new way of threats. A blatant example is a case from 2020, where due to a falsified letter from NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, supposedly due to poor handling of the COVID crisis by a certain country, army forces were drawn.
“Here I would stress, particularly in our context, the influence of so-called influencers and the disloyal competition between media services that has also been registered in the area of free internet media”, said Poposka.
Poposka further said journalists have the most difficult job, that is why quality journalism is very important. Information needs to verified, and services for fact-checking have an important role, as does media literacy, and it is important that we are conscious as citizens, both as an academic community and as a media community.
“I don’t know if we will win that battle, but we must not succumb in the attempts to face this problem, because if we withdraw, we have already lost the battle”, said Poposka.
Camera and editing: Arian Mehmeti
Translation: N. Cvetkovska
The interview is part of the project “Resilient journalism in countering disinformation and propaganda”, which CIVIL is implementing in partnership with Youth4Media (Y4M), with the support of the Government of North Rhine-Westphalia, Dusseldorf, Germany.