DEF IX- News Agencies safeguarding objective information – Addressing disinformation

The significant role that news agencies play in the dissemination of objective news in an era where phenomena of disinformation are constantly increasing, was the subject of the discussion moderated by the President and Director General of Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA) Aimilios Perdikaris, at the 9th Economic Forum of Delphi.

Perdikaris also took the initiative to organize the discussion on the topic “Combating disinformation in a multipolar world – Strategies, tools, and challenges” in collaboration with the Delphi Forum.

“We live in times with many challenges not only for the media but for the whole society,” emphasized the Secretary-General of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) Alexandru Ion Giboi, pointing out that journalism has acquired an even more significant role today as there is a lot of unfiltered information.

He also emphasized the need for news agencies to receive financial support and for their independence to be ensured, as they constitute a crucial source of objective information for society.

Giboi made a special mention of literacy in the media, emphasizing its absolute necessity and pointing out that journalists should be in a continuous process of education, a view with which Perdikaris also agreed.

Claudia Nicolae, General Director of Agerpres, emphasized that news agencies are the entities providing the most objective information to society and are the cornerstone of journalistic production.

“The most objective news-the majority of them-are products of news agencies,” emphasized the general director of Agerpres, noting that journalists are now called upon to transform into fact-checkers to verify every aspect of information due to the extent of the phenomenon of misinformation. “For many, fact-checking is a luxury, as there is often not enough time for it. However, we should follow the old principles of journalism, such as objectivity and accuracy,” she pointed out.

Nicolae agreed with the need to support news agencies, especially the public ones, as well as the need for digital literacy in the media. As she stated, we should not solely blame bots for fake news, as there are people behind them. “We should embrace the technology that helps us recognize what is true and what is not,” she said.

Referring to paradigms in Greek mythology, Kiril Valchev General Director of the Bulgarian News Agency, mentioned that journalists are called upon in today’s era to be the objective guardians of the information source, highlighting the role of news agencies in this direction.

Skender Krasniqi, founder of the KosovaPress news agency, agreed on the role of news agencies as objective information providers to the public, emphasizing: “As news agencies, we produce reliable news. We communicate with citizens through objective information, and one of our duties is to see how we can address misinformation, as completely eliminating it is almost impossible due to the rapid pace at which technology develops.”

Ilija Musa Deputy Director of the federal news agency in the Balkan country, referred to the complex information landscape in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Musa made a particular mention of the intricate landscape of social media in Bosnia and Herzegovina, noting that no kind of registration or license is required, making the spread of misinformation much easier.

Yannick Pasquet Head of the AFP (Agence France-Presse) Office in Greece, emphasized the need “to verify all news and be very careful about what we publish every day.” Pasquet highlighted that fact-checking is a priority for AFP, which is why it has developed a wide network of journalists worldwide dedicated to this task.