Latvia speaks out against disinformation and journalist killings

Take note – story published 5 years ago

On 20 and 21 November 2018, at the meeting of the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO International Program for the Development of Communication (IPDC), in Paris, France, Latvia called for the fight against disinformation to be one of the next priorities of the UNESCO IPDC.

It is an international problem, the role of which will only increase, said Latvian spokeswoman, Sanita Jemberga, at the meeting of the Intergovernmental Council.

“The fight against disinformation is in line with the mandate of this commission and the nature of the program,” Jemberga said.

“As internet communication develops, issues relating to the regulation of social network responsibility at international level and the fight against disinformation will have to be faced during the next operating period, as it will become an increasingly pressing issue,” she said.

Latvia thanked UNESCO for the manual the organisation had prepared on increasing media literacy, which suggests ways to recognise disinformation in mass media and the internet.

Jemberga, better known known as part of the Re:Baltica team of investigative reporters, also engaged in the discussion of the UNESCO report on media workers killed in 2017 and the prevention of impunity for the murderers. The report shows that only 11% of all journalist killings are disclosed.

The report calls on states to provide information on the killings of journalists and the status of their investigations, with a particular focus on attacks against journalists – women – to make it public, to share good practices for increasing the safety of journalists, and to designate a point of contact to address such problems.

“From the point of view of the international community of journalists, anything that we are deciding on today is too little for the protection of journalists and for the reduction of impunity,” Jemberga said. “I hope we will come to see the day for UNESCO to support the International Committee of Journalists proposal to set up special tribunals for investigating the loudest cases of killings of journalists.”

 The main priorities of the IPDC are the promotion of freedom of expression and media diversity, the development of social media, the promotion of people's professional growth and the development of international partnerships. IPDC shall comprise 39 Member States elected during the UNESCO General Conference for a period of 4 years. Latvia has been elected and has been working in the IPDC since 2015.

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