UK media freedom conference: steps to fight disinformation

Disinformation is a great challenge for modern world as it is able to undermine public trust in the core institutions of democracy and other important or even key state institutions.

Nowadays many consider Russia “the factory” of disinformation, saying Russian media direct their disinformation efforts to undermine the moral spirit of democratic countries, including core pillars upon which democracy depends: the legitimacy of the press and citizen trust in government and seeks to exploit fears and anxieties, stoking divisions within democratic systems.

Many counties try to solve this problem in different ways, providing money to create special units, holding workshops so on, as a free and independent media plays a vital role in protecting human rights and holding the powerful to account. Media freedom is the lifeblood of democracy and can be the foundation for economic prosperity and social development.

This year the Global Conference for Media Freedom (2019) has become the first of its kind. It is taking place 10 to 11 July 2019 in London. The event it to be attend by Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Jeremy Hunt, the UK Foreign Secretary. It is expected that global leaders, journalists, representatives from different media institution will gather to attend interactive panel discussions.

The UK Foreign Office refused accreditation to Russia’s RT and Sputnik news agencies because of playing an “active role in spreading disinformation”. A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office, organising the conference, stated: “We have not accredited RT or Sputnik because of their active role in spreading disinformation. While it’s not possible to accommodate all requests for accreditation, journalists from across the world’s media are attending the conference, including from Russia.”

RT said it had lodged a complaint to the Foreign Office over its accreditation. RT, backed by the Russian state and was formerly known as Russia Today, has increased its coverage of UK and US news.

The channel was found by UK broadcast regulator Ofcom to have committed seven breaches of the UK’s broadcasting code during its coverage of the Novichok case.

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