February 21, 2024
News/Events The Secretariat VerityCon 2023 - Navigating the Disinformation Era

Digital Safety and Disinformation Strategies

Buzz Sessions of the Second Day of VerityCon23 International Conference focused on Digital Safety and Disinformation Strategies and in Western Balkans.

Two parallel panels were moderated by Blerjana Bino, a founder of SciDEV, a leading expert and partner of the Conference, and Klodiana Kapo, an experienced journalist who currently runs the biggest fact-checking news portal in Albania.

Jan Cingel, from Strategic Analysis, recommended during the workshop the inclusion of journalism as a subject to be studied at high schools. According to him, digital safety should also be an integral part of school curricula.

Journalism and digital safety are subject that should be studied in the high school

Jan Cingel

The initiative proposed by Mr. Cingel is being tested in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro and has the support of the OSCE.

Ms. Alexandra Krstic, from the University of Belgrade, considered 2021 as the worst year in the history of journalism in Serbia. According to her, hate speech has proliferated in recent years, making it very hard for reporters to engage online because of trolls and negative comments.

She went on to say that politicians often abuse journalists in their panels, and it is increasingly hard, especially for women.

In that regard, she recommended exploring any possible way to increase the safety and protection of journalists in the Western Balkans Region.

2024 will be a big year, but we don’t yet know if it will be a good or bad year

Mr. Goran Rizaov, from Media and Democracy Programme “Metamorphosis,” emphasized that governments need to improve transparency in the media.

Regarding AI, he underlined that: “2024 will be a big year, but we don’t yet know if it will be a good or a bad year.”

The other parallel Buzz Session focused on “Tools to Identify and Combat Disinformation in the Western Balkans”.

Moderated by our expert, Blerjana Bino, the panel initiated with Justin Spike, from the Associated Press, who underlined that: “When it comes to disinformation, a lot of it is propagated by the governments. It serves only to polarize the population and the media”.

Our guest from KyodoNews, Marco Sostero, said that “unfortunately, there is no way to stop fake news. It’s the opposite and it will increase in the future. What we can do is to prepare effectively the people and increase the information about it in the media. Media information literacy is crucial”.

For Darko Sokovic, the founder of the news agency Propulsion, “the amount of content is so great that no moderation can stop it. The individual is who should chose wisely from the ocean of information surrounding him”.

Among others, professor Zguri, a leading expert from the University of Tirana and a collaborator in the organization of VerityCon23, recommended: “We cannot use regulatory instruments to control media. Doing so would be a dangerous adventure. What we should do is to go further than media literacy, to effectively knowledge literacy”.

Unfortunately, there is no way to stop fake news. What we can do, is to prepare for it

Marco Sostero