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  • Frances Fitzgerald

New episode of The European Lens highlights the threat of Disinformation and Fake news in Ireland

Updated: Apr 17, 2023

Press Statement from Frances Fitzgerald MEP

Friday 12th February 2021

On the fourth episode of The European Lens, Mark Little joins Frances to discuss disinformation and fake news and the role that journalists and media outlets play in it.

“Ninety nine percent of journalists I've worked with really do want to be able to work in an environment where they're not being forced to get clicks on the online edition or outrageous headlines.

“But that's the nature of the business they're in right now because the traditional media's business model has been almost destroyed by the rise of the platforms. We need to work out how we're going to fund particularly public media. And I don't mean just the BBC's and the RTE’s”

MEP Fitzgerald, who is a member of the European Parliament’s new special Committee on foreign interference and disinformation, commented that there is a need for co-regulation in social media platforms:

“It is clear that self-regulation of social media has not worked. If we think of Brexit, the fake allegations about the results of the recent US Presidential election and the constant interference from Russia in Western Democracies, the problem of disinformation has developed into such a threat to our democracy, that some form of government intervention is needed.”

Also on the podcast, journalist Peter Pomerantsev discussed the threat of fake news from Russia:

“Russia itself openly says that it sees information war as something that that is a foreign policy priority for it.”

“So assassinations, corruption, business, it's political warfare. They see political warfare as their way to compete in the world.

The episode also features the perspective of MEP Sandra Kalniete who is the Rapporteur on the new European Parliament committee on disinformation. Sandra discussed the likely findings from this committee’s final report:

“A quite extensive part will be on resilience and deterrence, because this also is something that we need - how to build up resilience of Europeans to make them media literate, to make them fact checkers, not to follow the false information and fake news and be sceptical.”

The podcast series aims to bring the Irish public closer to the EU by helping them

understand how major issues are playing out on the European stage.

The European Lens is available from all usual podcast outlets now.





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