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The international conference “e-Society: Fact-Checking and Influence of New Technologies on Journalism” took place

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Fake news presented as facts, fiction as reality and (mis)use of principles and standards that are the basis of good journalism were the topic of the 12th international conference “e-Society.mk: Fact-Checking and Influence of New Technologies on Journalism”, which took place yesterday and was organized by Metamorphosis Foundation.

The participants talked about the importance of media fact-checking from the aspect of fight against fake news and from the aspect of respect of journalistic standards.

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- The Media Fact-Checking Service is a great tool for educating the citizens to recognize truthful and quality information, hence to contribute toward democratization of society – said the director of Metamorphosis Foundation, Bardhyl Jashari.
 
James Stein, mission director of USAID Macedonia, said that the categories news, facts, fiction, propaganda are more and more intermixed and it’s more and more difficult to make a difference between them throughout the world.
- Media literacy is highly important for the development of democracy, and ethical media help us understand the environment we live in. Macedonia isn’t an exception, thus, the Media Fact-Checking Service plays more and more important role. By supporting the Service, we support independent, credible and accurate journalism, as well as journalism based on facts and respect of journalistic standards – Stein said.
 
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The president of the Commission for complaints at the Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia, Mirche Adamchevski, stated that the ethics in media becomes worse, according to the experience with complaints they’ve had so far. More than 70 percent of all complaints are related to disrespect of the basic journalistic rule of checking information’s accuracy. Moreover, there are multiple examples of violation of the rule of respect of privacy, hate speech, mixing of facts and comments.

Since its beginning, the Media Fact-Checking Service has published more than 4.000 articles such as reviews, analyses, journalistic lessons. The Service’s main goal, according to Metamorphosis’ program director, Filip Stojanovski, and the editor, Vladimir Petreski, is promotion of media literacy, which will lead toward greater awareness and knowledge of citizens to demand responsibility and media standards from the media.

 
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The regional experience with similar projects, for instance the websites “Istinomjer” from Bosnia and Herzegovina and “Istinomer” from Serbia, only confirm the importance of such fact-checking services for raising media literacy and journalistic standards, as well as for differentiating fake from truth, news from fiction.

Besides them, Peter Pomerantsev, British media expert, addressed the audience via video call, and also Alexios Mantzarlis, director of the International Fact-Checking Network, prepared a video message. In addition, three simultaneous workshops took place during the second half of the conference, and the entire event was streamed live via http://vozivo.mk. The conference was organized within the framework of the USAID Project for Strengthening the Media in Macedonia, component “Media Fact-Checking Service”, implemented by Metamorphosis Foundation.