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EBU and Partners Launch Journalism Trust Initiative to Combat Disinformation


With the aim to combat disinformation online, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and a number of partners have launched the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) in Paris last week. The JTI is an innovative self-regulatory media initiative, that provides a set of standards for quality journalism and the dissemination of reliable information. The project is a collaboration between the EBU, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Agence France Presse (AFP) and the Global Editors Network (GEN).

The Journalism Trust Initiative was unveiled at a joint press conference by EBU Director General Noel Curran, RSF’s Secretary General Christophe Deloire, AFP Global News Director Michèle Léridon and GEN President Peter Bale.

According to a recent EBU press release, the JTI is designed to promote journalism by adherence to an agreed set of trust and transparency standards to be developed and implemented. This will happen by means of the so-called Workshop Agreement of the European Centre of Standardization (CEN), which was opened on April 3rd for the participation of interested stakeholders, for example media outlets, professional associations and unions, self-regulatory entities like press councils and regulatory bodies, as well as digital platforms, advertisers and consumer interest representatives.

Welcoming the initiative, EBU Director General Noel Curran said: "The EBU believes that the online presence of public service media organizations is vital to support informed citizenship and represents an essential tool to fight the propagation of fake news. Reliable, quality journalism is the hallmark of public service media and the EBU fully supports this initiative which will aid our Members' audiences to identify reliable sources and help sustain quality journalism."

RSF’s Christophe Deloire added: “In the new public arena system, in which false information circulate faster than real news, the defence of journalism requires reversing this trend by giving a real advantage to all those who reliably produce news and information, whatever their status.”

The resulting standards are expected to reflect transparency of media ownership and sources of revenues, as well as journalistic methods and the compliance with ethical norms and independence. They are intended to become a voluntary, leading benchmark of media self-regulation and good practices for all those who produce journalistic content, ranging from individual bloggers to international media groups. Adopting the standards will pave the way towards a certification process.

More information about the JTI and the official launch event in Paris can be found at the EBU website.

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