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Healthy media environment needed against disinformation: RSF

Reporter Jamie Lin Pinzon
Release time:2023/12/03 18:24
Last update time:2023/12/03 19:02
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TAIPEI (TVBS News) — In today's digital landscape, the rapid spread of misinformation and disinformation online is increasingly posing a challenge for the public. In this critical juncture, with Taiwan's national election approaching in weeks, the media's influence is more crucial than ever. 

Cédric Alviani, the Asia-Pacific Bureau Director of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), an international press freedom organization, shared with TVBS News on Friday (Dec. 1) insights regarding Taiwan's state of disinformation and the importance of a healthy media environment. 

 

Alviani defines disinformation as "any content that pretends to be journalistic, but which actually imparts false information for the purpose of misleading the public."

According to the bureau director, disinformation is affecting not only Taiwan but also the world. He also describes disinformation as a "poison for the mind" and "can have a particular impact in the period of an election."

With the election nearing in Taiwan, the media garners more public attention while disinformation spreads. However, Taiwanese' trust in the media is only at 28%, according to Alviani. He attributed the number to the media outlets that work "not always fully respectful of journalism ethics."
 

"This is actually an additional factor that could allow disinformation to spread in Taiwan," Alviani said. "And this is a threat [to] the Taiwanese people.”

He pointed out that the only way for Taiwan to protect itself from disinformation is "a healthy media environment in which media outlets would pay more attention to journalism ethics that would ensure that they deserve the trust of the public."

To confront this issue, the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI),  initiated four years ago by RSF, implements a self-regulatory approach to reviving and strengthening public trust in media reporting.

"The idea here was to fight misinformation at its source. Not to cure the symptoms but really to cure the source of the problem with the process of news creation," JTI Global Manager Chloé Fiodiere said. 

Fiodiere sees different media outlets joining the initiative as better for the ecosystem and can provide the audience a "compass to orientate themselves" in this world overflowing with information.

"We need the media outlets to be the first protection against disinformation and not to amplify this phenomenon," Alviani said. 
 

The Taiwan Briefing

#Disinformation in Taiwan#disinformation#Taiwan#Reporters Without Borders#RSF#national election#media ethics#news outlet#misinformation#Journalism Trust Initiative
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