Muslim journalists to strengthen bonds to counter fake news

Speakers call on the mass media to firmly adhere to the principles of journalistic ethics, carry out their professional duty honestly and impartially

SAINT PETERSBURG (Russia)    -     On the concluding day of the two-day Fifth International Forum of Muslim Journalist and Bloggers, a draft Declaration was adopted that outlines the future prospects of such a useful interaction.

Besides the Declaration outlined ways and means to further strengthen these bonds among the participants and those who would participate in future events. The organizers expressed their willingness to hold these forums across the Islamic world. Almost all speakers at the 5th Forum noted the necessity for further close coordination between Russian and foreign Muslim journalists to counter the spread of false information.

In this regard, they called on the mass media to firmly adhere to the principles of journalistic ethics, carry out their professional duty honestly and impartially, which is in line with the provisions of the Global Charter of Ethics for Journalists, adopted in Tunisia in June 2019.

The 5th International Forum of Journalists and Bloggers was held on the 26-27 September, 2019 in St Petersburg. It was organized by the Group of Strategic Vision “Russia – Islamic World”.

The arrangements for organizing such a high-level interaction were excellent and all the participants expressed their gratitude to the organizers as well as the Russian Federation. The Forum was attended by more than 50 foreign and Russian journalists representing the world famous mass media, international experts in the field of information and high-ranking Russian and foreign officials.

Deputy Chairman of the Group of Strategic Vision “Russia – Islamic World”, Doctor of Political Science F.M. Mukhametshin made a speech at the opening of the plenary session “The Impact of the Media on Public Opinion and International Agenda”. The participants of the Forum warmly welcomed President of the Tatarstan Republic, Chairman of the Group of Strategic R.N. Minnikhanov and Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation I.M.-S. Umakhanov.

The Declaration said three thematic sessions were organized within the Forum: “Information-Psychological Wars and their Impact of Public Opinion”, ““Fake News”: Response and Counteraction Strategies” and “Freedom of Journalism in the Context of Human Rights and Information Security”, where both foreign and Russian participants took part, followed by a broad discussion of the most pressing media issues.

It said the Forum participants listened with great interest to the reports of Director of the UN Information Centre in Moscow V.V. Kuznetsov, the First Deputy Director General of TASS M.V. Kalmykov, Deputy Director of the Department of Information and Press of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation A.A. Kozhin, Special Coordinator of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation on the Political Use of Information and Communication Technologies E.V. Chernukhin.

The Forum participants noted that politicized actions in the West often lead to increase in tension and escalation of conflicts in different parts of our planet, resulting in deepening of split in the world on ethnic, confessional and other grounds. Some Western powers often use the mass media to impose their selfish agendas and manipulate public opinion, it added

The Forum participants fully supported the ideas set forth in the article by Minister for Foreign Affairs of Russia S.V. Lavrov “World at a Crossroads and a System of International Relations for the Future”, published ahead of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (the text of the article was distributed to the participants on the eve of the Forum), the Declaration said. The Forum participants highlighted the fact that Russia together with states of the Islamic world can make a significant contribution to the improvement of both political and spiritual situation in the world because their positions on topical international and regional issues are close or even the same, said the Declaration.

It added the Forum participants stated the importance of ensuring security in the field of information technologies and developing the legal and regulatory framework in this area. Besides, there was noted the increasing need for verification of the information disseminated, taking into account significant growth in the number of so-called “fake news” in the world, which in some cases directly threatens the national security of sovereign states and the stability of the world as a whole.

The Forum participants advocated the need to develop a complex programme for prevention and identification of extremist and radical ideas in information space (mass media, blogging, social networks), as well as the rules of Internet use. There was made a decision to continue the practice of organizing annual media forums, as well as holding separate regional and country events on this issue, the Declaration concluded.

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