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June 30, 2022

World Press Freedom Day: Journalists role remains essential in critical periods such as the pandemic or the war in Ukraine to combat misinformation and false news

MAE: Tribute to journalists who died during Russia’s aggression in Ukraine

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE) pays tribute on Tuesday to journalists who lost their lives during the “illegal” and “unprovoked” military aggression of the Russian Federation in Ukraine, reporting on the “atrocities of the invasion”.

“Their sacrifice reminds us of the importance of knowing and recounting the truth, of how crucial correct, complete and objective information is, and of the duty to respect and protect the profession and those who practice it,” the MAE said in a press release sent on World Press Freedom Day.

“Romania promotes, at the international level, respect for freedom of expression and information, freedom of the press, the safety and independence of journalists. (…) The theme selected by UNESCO to mark this year’s World Press Freedom Day – ‘Journalism under digital siege” analyses the effects of digitisation on freedom of expression, access to information, confidentiality and the safety of journalists. The chosen topic explores the threats brought to the profession by the digital means of surveillance, but also the ways to counteract them,” shows the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

MAE evokes the lessons learned from the recent global crises and draws attention to the need to intensify joint efforts, globally, to combat misinformation, false news and the spread of hate speech through digital media channels.


PM Ciuca: Right of journalists to do their jobs remains intangible


Informing the public is vital, especially in periods such as the pandemic or in the current context, created by the Russian invasion in Ukraine, mass-media having an increasing role in this sense, but also a major responsibility in the balanced dissemination of information to the wider audience, said Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca, on Tuesday, in a message sent on World Press Freedom Day.

‘The context in which we are marking World Press Freedom Day brings to the forefront the role of mass-media in the correct informing of the public and to combat disinformation, in close connection to the transformations and challenges that the development of digital technology brought to the sphere of journalism. Liberty and mass-media pluralism means guaranteeing freedom of expression and free access to information, fundamental rights of any citizen in a consolidated democracy and a functional rule of law. Respecting freedom of expression, the right to opinion and to information implies the responsibility of all state institutions and a coherent and sustained effort to protect rights guaranteed through the Constitution of Romania,” the head of the Executive emphasizes.

“Together with the entire governmental team, I fully support the freedom of the press, right to opinion and the correct informing of citizens, position which I’ve expressed every time promptly and decidedly. In equal measure, we firmly condemn any attempt at intimidation or influencing the way in which a journalist or news desk in Romania exercises its constitutional rights for freedom of expression. To be a journalist means to be in the service of truth and public interest. I have full respect for the people in this profession, who do their jobs professionally, objectively and responsibly, many even in conflict areas, exposed to dangers, so that citizens are up to date with public interest developments. There are qualities I have always appreciated and I believe it’s unacceptable that they would turn journalists into targets of threats or even attacks,” the Prime Minister mentions.

Nicolae Ciuca shows that “informing the public is vital, especially in period such as the pandemic or the current context created by the Russian invasion in Ukraine, mass-media having an increased role in this sense, but also a major responsibility in the balanced dissemination of information to the wider audience.”

“I support independent journalism and the safety of journalists. With good faith, involvement in the service of truth, professionalism and objectiveness, I am confident we can together succeed in combating attempts at disinformation, diversion, division and hate mongering fuelled on the backdrop of the post-pandemic and security crises. Many happy returns to all journalists,” said Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca.


AG Scutea recalls media contribution to fight corruption


On Tuesday, Romania’s Attorney General (AG) Gabriela Scutea released a message in support of the activity of journalists and the freedom of the press, recalling the media’s contribution to alerting investigative bodies about corruption involving public office holders.

“On World Press Freedom Day, I want to send a message of unconditional support for the work of journalists and the freedom of the press, a free, objective and responsible press, which is indispensable to the protection of our society and the protection of our rights and freedoms. We would like to emphasise on this occasion the contribution that the responsible and independent media had and will have in informing the public and alerting investigative bodies about corruption involving persons holding various public positions, as well as others instances of crime law violations. Not infrequently, as a result of such media stories, the Public Prosecution Service has acted and managed to prosecute the perpetrators,” Scutea says in a message released on May 3, World Press Freedom Day.

In her opinion, when journalistic activity is carried out with objectivity and in good faith, on the one hand, and in safe conditions for journalists, on the other hand, it becomes a pillar of the rule of law, a complementary component of the judiciary.


Prof. Constantin Bungau: A correct information is needed worldwide


A correct information is needed worldwide and must continue to be campaigned for the journalists to really benefit from this freedom, on Tuesday said the rector, Prof. Constantin Bungau, PhD of the Faculty of Political Sciences and Communication Sciences of the University of Oradea, Prof. Constantin Bungau, PhD, on the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day.

“Personally, I think this chance that the global press has or should have should be highlighted. In civilized states it has this chance, but freedom must not be transformed or misunderstood by media trusts that can serve certain political regimes and no longer be free. This problem of press freedom is complicated (…) We in the civilized world need a correct information of both children, young people, ours, the mature ones or the elderly. But, at the same time, it must continue to be campaigned for this freedom to be true,” rector Constantin Bungau told AGERPRES.

He added that the Journalism study program at the University of Oradea is dedicated, starting with the academic year 2002/2003, to the schooling of generations of journalists who “do the right thing, that is, the profession of independent and free journalist”.

The World Press Freedom Day was marked on Tuesday, at the university of northwestern Oradea, with interactive courses and seminars, with analyses and discussions on press articles or TV materials, in order to identify what are the limits of freedom of expression.

According to lecturer Carmen Ungur Brehoi, a free, independent press must have unhindered access and be able to look for real information to offer to the public. This road may be hard for journalists, but once they have put themselves in the service of finding out the truth and transmitting it to readers or viewers, a journalist must do everything in his/her power to serve the freedom of the press.

Antonia Szabo, a third-year student at the Sciences of Communication Faculty, stressed that this job as a journalist is not for everyone.

“One can’t be weak as an angel or panic every time they see an accident or a case that is really harder to ‘digest’. One can’t get actively involved in events, one can’t change reality, a journalist is just the channel for transmitting information,” she said.

The young student also offered an answer to the question of why the freedom of the press is important.

“In order to be aware of what is happening around you, to be able to take a stand, so the effect of the ‘man who lives in the cave’ occurs. You are part of society, you are part of a community, not only passively, but also actively, creatively. (…) Are you a journalist? Be truth, be honour, be righteous, be the voice of the people, do represent with vertebral column the citizens of your country and do not sell their identity only for a bigger ego,” student Antonia Szabo concluded.



Compiled from Agerpres

Photo: www.pixabay.com

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