Marshall: Impartial news is essential for democracy; the story of KosovaPress is inspiring

Media freedom, accuracy and impartiality are essential for democracy and informing citizens. This is what Alan Marshall, director of PA Media Group of the United Kingdom said.

A few days after holding the international conference “Freedom of Speech Borders”, in honor of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the KosovaPress News Agency, which gathered 20 world news agencies from all over Europe and the Balkans, Marshall said that the freedom of media should come down to every level and that journalists have access to the right information and can operate freely.

According to him, the challenge for the media is fake news.

“So, I think, what we’ve heard at the conference over the last couple of days is that everyone understands the critical nature of needing truth and unbiased accurate news is crucial for democracy, is crucial for keeping citizens informed, and I think, as a representative of a news agency, we believe that news agencies are important part of the answer to that in verifying information, checking information, and just making sure that there is accurate news out there for people”, he said.

While speaking about the international conference “Freedom of SpeechBorders”, Marshall, in an interview for KosovaPress, said that it is good when politicians also talk about the freedom of the media and understand that the press is there to hold the government accountable.

“It’s been really interesting to hear from politicians, from speakers, from diplomats talking about the importance of the freedom of the press in Kosovo. I think, you know, it’s great that there is an understanding that the Press is there to hold power to account, to keep citizens informed. So, it was great to hear that from the top. I think what’s important is that, that freedom, comes down to every level and that journalists have access to the right information and can operate freely”, he said

According to Marshall, fake news and its verification remains challenging for the media.

” I think all media faces that challenge from fake news, from misinformation, whichever country you’re in, wherever you’re operating, that is a real challenge. I think we believe that the value of accurate news and information though is not reduced it’s undiminished. We just need to find the right ways to get that true information out to audiences and to help people understand the value that could journalism has”, said Marshall.

Marshall also mentioned the KosovaPress News Agency, highly appreciating its achievements during 25 years of work in informing citizens.

“Well, I think this story of KosovaPress is actually inspiring, you know, I’m from the UK and have a long-established agency, but it’s great to see the achievements of KosovaPress in the last 25 years. I wouldn’t say there’s anything that they should learn from my organization in the UK, I think there’s always mutual learnings, you know, we need to learn about how to move quickly and how to build new things. But I think we can talk about business models; we can talk about how we grow revenues in different sectors. Whether it’s non-media sectors, or reaching different audiences, there’s always information to share”, he said.

On February 8, the international conference “Freedom of Speech Borders” was held in Prishtina, in which the need to fight fake news was emphasized.