Conference on countering foreign perpetrated disinformation in Western Balkans ends in Bled
Metamorphosis Foundation team took part at the conference on addressing the challenge of disinformation, organized by Slovenian think-tank Centre for European Perspective (CEP). The conference took place in Bled, Slovenia from 22 to 24 November 2022. It gathered members of civil society, media workers and government communicators from Western Balkan countries.
In order to overcome the disruptive nature of disinformation requires a whole-of-society approach and cooperation among different sectors, CEP had been organizing a series of capacity building and networking events.
All too often, members of government, journalists and civil society members work separately from each other, yet striving towards the same goal, which is to protect democratic institutions and diminish the space for disinformation. It is for this reason that CEP initiated a project ‘Strengthening societal resilience and countering foreign perpetrated disinformation in six Western Balkan countries’.
The CEP project is funded by the National Endowment for Democracy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia through development cooperation funds.
The conference was attended by 37 participants from Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia). All of the participants deal with the challenge of disinformation daily – whether as government communicators, fact-checkers or journalists.
The conference was divided into two parts – in the first part, several discussions with the aim of understanding disinformation, why it is done and how it impacts our societies were held. At the second part of the conference, participants started working on their ‘Country disinformation reports’, where they applied the insights gained from the first part.
Metamorphosis representatives, together with project partners Why Not and Faktoje, shared the insights generated through the joint project Western Balkans Anti-Disinformation Hub, from data gathered through media monitoring of disinformation trends and narratives, to insights generated via fact-checking and other forms of watchdog journalism.
The Bled conference provided synergy for the ongoing advocacy initiative for systemic response to the issue of disinformat In the next editions, the participants will continue writing reports on disinformation and expand them with sections on tools and tactics to counter and prevent disinformation, as well as sections on coordination necessary among different sectors.
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