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.
The president of the Press Complaints Commission 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.
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.