A study reveals that attacks on journalists come especially from politicians and public officials. Power sectors and disinformation campaigns seek to undermine confidence in journalism to take a key player in strengthening democracy out of the game. This topic will be a central focus of the upcoming Global Summit on Disinformation to be held on September 27-28. The event is online and free of charge with prior registration at www.cumbredesinformacion.com.
This week, the Latam Journalism Review published an article summarizing the main findings of the study «Not just words: How reputational attacks harm journalists and undermine press freedom.» The research reveals that most journalists surveyed suffered damage to their reputations at least once a month, with politicians and public officials being the most common sources of these attacks. “More and more we see leaders of supposedly democratic countries denigrate the media, branding journalists ‘enemies of the people’, untrustworthy. No wonder the corrupt, the abusers of power, seed that narrative”, said Jodie Ginsberg, chair of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
These disinformation campaigns that come from politics and other organizations try to discredit the work of journalism. With these targeted attacks, the media opens the way for false, misleading, or manipulated information to have a greater reach in the digital ecosystem. For this reason, in the next edition of the Global Summit on Disinformation (September 27 and 28), this topic will be one of the central subjects of the event that will seek to reveal the main strategies promoted by those who try to affect trust in the news.
The presentation of the main findings of the CLIP-led research, Digital Mercenaries, which unveils the maneuvers of consulting firms that buy voter data to tailor messages that appeal to voters’ tastes and fears to urge them to share those warning messages among friends and family to make them more credible, is awaited with great expectation. The report warns that these operators «can manufacture millions of false opinion-makers on social networks so that they give the impression of majorities in their favor (trolls) and, incidentally, thus set the agenda for the traditional journalistic media.» And that simultaneously «They create hundreds of digital media that act in chorus to praise the client and attack the enemy.» Pablo Medina, one of Clip’s coordinators, will be in charge of presenting all the details of this investigation and the methods used to unmask Digital Mercenaries in Latin America.
Trust in the news
But the Global Summit on Disinformation will not only have news about strategies to harm journalism. The panel called “Quality Indicators in the News” also generates a lot of expectations, which will feature the Trusting News initiative, a project that seeks to make journalism processes and methods transparent to reinforce trust in the media. “At Trusting News, we identify things news audiences don’t understand about how journalism works and use engagement and transparency strategies to rebuild trust. We look for opportunities to demonstrate credibility by explaining the news processes”, explain its founders. In this same segment, the participation of the Argentine newspaper La Nación is also expected, which in recent years has gone through a process of validation of its journalistic standards and transparency by applying the eight indicators of The Trust Project, another global initiative that seeks to validate trust in the media. In addition, this panel will have the participation of the Digital Forensic Research Lab, promoter of the formation of the Digital Sherlocks. The organization dependent on the Atlantic Council remarks that “The fight against disinformation cannot be done alone; it requires a growing movement of people taking the lead around the world and in their own communities. It is these digital Sherlocks who are at the heart of our movement.”
And finally, within the framework of this space that seeks to strengthen trust in the news, it is not excluded that the Inter-American Press Association will make an important announcement for the region with an initiative that it will promote in the coming years.
Part of the objective of the Global Summit on Disinformation is to consolidate a reliable media and news system that guarantees access to verified content to a growing audience. To do this, the Summit brings together more than 20 international speakers for two days in a free online event who share their learnings and challenges. In addition to addressing various aspects of the problem, the exhibitors will provide resources against disinformation for the more than 1,000 attendees from the 5 continents who have already registered to participate.
The III Global Summit on Disinformation is organized by the Inter-American Press Association, the Foundation for Journalism (Bolivia), and Proyecto Desconfío (Argentina).
The event has the support of the Google News Initiative, the International Fact-Checking Network, the United States Embassy in Argentina, the United Nations Argentina, BancoSol of Bolivia, and the Kimberly Green Center for Latin America and the Caribbean of Florida International University (FIU). This is a free online event, which requires prior registration at www.cumbredesinformacion.com.
Accompanying the Summit: International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), Medianálisis, Bolivia Verifica, National Press Association of Chile, GABO Foundation, DW Akademie, Infoveritas, Colombian Association of Information Media (AMI), Association of Argentine Journalistic Entities (ADEPA) and United Nations Bolivia.