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Marking the 30th anniversary of the start of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and at a time of Russian aggression against Ukraine, the European External Action Service has brought together leading international journalists and young journalists from the Western Balkans in cooperation with the EU Delegation to BiH to discuss media integrity in the age of disinformation.
A panel composed of some of the most reputable international journalists, who have made an inerasable mark on journalism in the last 30 years, joined the Sarajevo discussion. They connected from multiple cities across Europe: Christiane Amanpour (CNN) and Rémy Ourdan (Le Monde) from Ukraine, Javier Espinosa (El Mundo) from Madrid, Roger Cohen (The New York Times) from Paris, and Ed Vulliamy (The Guardian and Observer) from London, while Aida Čerkez (former Associated Press correspondent from BiH) and Nadina Maličbegović (Al Jazeera Balkans) were in Sarajevo together with Filip Lukić (N1 Belgrade) who moderated the discussion.
Participants discussed the challenges of war reporting, the role of new technologies, ethics and professionalism, disinformation, media manipulation and the safety of journalists. Information manipulation and disinformation are also a challenge in times of peace, where they aim to antagonise and polarise societies, deepen tensions, deceive the public and ultimately destabilise societies and democracy.
Twenty young journalists from the Western Balkans region travelled to Sarajevo to participate in this discussion, as a part of a broader study visit aiming to give them a chance to learn from top experts in the profession, but also from each other. This project is a part of the efforts of the EEAS Stratcom Western Balkans Task Force to raise awareness of – and build resilience to – information manipulation and disinformation, in order to support the capacity of Western Balkan societies to deal with the disinformation challenge. Investing in media freedom and professional journalism is a significant part of addressing disinformation, as it helps building well-informed societies and stronger democracies.
The event took place in Sarajevo and online on 7 April. The session was streamed globally and received significant attention in local and regional media, with several TV stations broadcasting it live.
Source: European Union
Photo credits: European Union
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