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December 8, 2022

German Ambassador in Bucharest Peer Gebauer: Freedom of the press must remain protected, but journalists must take responsibility for the information they convey

Freedom of the press must remain protected, but journalists must take responsibility for the information they convey, German Ambassador in Bucharest Peer Gebauer stated on Wednesday, at the opening of the conference called “Combating disinformation and fake news.”

“We ask how can we make ourselves heard before this immensity of pieces of information floating through social media, how can we deal with this absurd theories because they are everywhere. Basically, the central piece is that the freedom of the press must remain further protected, it is an undisputed thing and this allowed free societies to exist. (…) It’s paramount to keep this thing, but it is also about mass media’s own responsibility,” the diplomat stated, according to the official translation.

He talked about the necessary effort to verify information.

According to him, combating “fake news” cannot be more actual than it is now.” “I have experienced this thing in the year of the pandemic and now, too, following Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, when disinformation and fake news are propagating,” the Ambassador stated, according to Agerpres.

Germany’s Ambassador in Bucharest added that the phenomenon is expanding through social media, also talking about Russia’s practices that use various “targeted methods, in order to manipulate.”

Ambassador Peer Gebauer mentioned some alternative theories, including in the context of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, “which cannot be challenged by anyone.”

“All these theories lead to the fact that in certain Western societies some people think ‘yes, perhaps there is a grain of truth’ and not necessarily because they support Russia, but somehow they gain a distance,” he explained.

The diplomat called on journalists and politicians to react to such fake information. In Germany, at the Executive level, the fake news phenomenon is “fought very firmly,” he underscored.

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