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BRICS media wrestle with disinformation challenge in COVID-19 fight

BRICS media wrestle with disinformation challenge in COVID-19 fight

News media around the globe, particularly newspapers and in addition different types of media, have taken an enormous hit throughout pandemic: N. Ram

Representatives of media organisations from BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) on Monday referred to as for the 5 nations to work collectively to collectively fight the “virus of disinformation” in the pandemic period.At the fifth BRICS Media Forum, held nearly to coincide with the just lately concluded BRICS summit, media organisations mentioned methods in which journalists from the grouping may collaborate extra intently to inform tales, with the nations going through many comparable challenges, from financial points to public well being, as they grapple with COVID-19.

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N. Ram, Director of The Hindu Publishing Group and former Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu Group of Publications, famous that India, Brazil and Russia had been among the many 5 in the world with the best variety of confirmed instances. “The news media around the world, especially daily newspapers, and also other forms of the media, have taken a big hit during the pandemic,” he stated.

“It is heartening that media organisations that come under the aegis of the BRICS Media Forum have done a commendable job in informing and educating readers, viewers, and listeners on the pandemic and its consequences for people’s lives, health, livelihood, and well-being; on the tools and individual and social behaviours that can enable a country or a community to mount defences against this coronavirus; on the development of diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines for COVID-19; and on the science behind all this,” he said. “I believe the mainstream media in our five countries have also helped by fielding well-informed discussions on how to strike a reasonable balance, tricky as it is, at the policy level between saving lives and health on the one hand and protecting work, livelihood, and the economy on the other.”

Jose Juan Sanchez, President of Brazil’s CMA Group that specialises in monetary and agri-business information, stated a typical thread was a rising drawback of disinformation or ‘fake news’. “We need to come together to fight disinformation. It is important for news to be instantaneous, and it is equally important to remember that false news is dangerous. Transparent and reliable information is important more than ever,” he asserted.

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The discussion board was additionally attended by Sergey Kochetkov, Deputy Editor-in-chief of Rossiya Segodnya (Russia’s state-owned information company), whose subsidiaries embrace Sputnik and RIA Novosti; Iqbal Surve, Executive Chairman of Independent Media in South Africa; and He Ping, President and Editor-in-chief of China’s Xinhua information company, which got here up with the concept of a BRICS Media Forum in 2015.

More cooperation

Mr. He stated the pandemic had solely strengthened the wants of the nations to step up, somewhat than shun, cooperation. “In times of crisis, no one can stand alone or stay immune,” he identified. “As a Chinese saying goes, fire tests gold, and adversity reveals friendship.”

Mr. Ram noticed that disinformation that was being “transmitted globally at warp speed on the so-called technology platforms, notably Facebook, Twitter, Google, WhatsApp, and Instagram” was “a major threat not just to the mainstream media, but, more importantly, to the lives and well-being of tens of millions of people and the safety and integrity of society as a whole.”

He stated: “The BRICS Media Forum could make an actual distinction in the fight towards motivated and dangerous disinformation by selling and strengthening related media exchanges, workshops, coaching of journalists, and interactions with know-how corporations which might be prepared to work with us to comprise and finish the menace.

“For example, rigorous fact-checking and investigation by well-trained teams of journalists and the new type of specialised fact-checking organisations can be supplemented by technological solutions, with the deployment of technologies like AI, in the fight against disinformation, especially large-scale online harms. BRICS countries have advantages in doing both things.”

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