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Public service media can counteract information disorder

In the new media environment, where the dissemination of disinformation, propaganda or hate speech is growing exponentially, public service media, as an independent source of accurate information and unbiased commentary, are by definition well placed to counteract the phenomenon of information disorder, the Committee on Culture said today.

Unanimously adopting a draft resolution, based on the report prepared by Petri Honkonen (Finland, ADLE), the parliamentarians considered that in the present media environment, “there is a need for a strong public service media able to counter information disorder”.

Consequently, member States should guarantee editorial independence, as well as sufficient and stable funding, for public service media, to ensure that they are “capable to produce accurate reliable news and information, and ensure quality journalism deserving the trust of the public”.

Public service media organisations should fully implement guidelines and editorial principles delivered by the European Broadcasting Union to guarantee quality journalism and trustworthiness, and consider “countering disinformation and propaganda among their priority missions”. Educational programs should be developed to informing audiences about the importance of source criticism and fact-checking.

The Committee invited internet intermediaries to co-operate with public and private European news outlets to improve the visibility of reliable trustworthy news and facilitate users’ access to it, as well as with civil society and organisations specialising in the verification of content “to ensure accuracy of all information on the platforms”.