Fake news: Demonizing the Other

The increasing trend of fake news and spread of misinformation is becoming a global problem. Supplying rumor stories through social media leads to propaganda, a tendency which is distorting public discourse around the world. According to researches on this topic, three out of ten people continue to believe in the information they receive through media even if it is later proven that the specific information is not true.

Countries like Greece and Macedonia are certainly not bypassed by the insidious trend of fake news. Moreover, there is tendency of both sides to publish (and re-publish) the news without checking its validity instead of sharing them with their counterparts in the neighboring country, even on sensitive topics such as the name issue.

While positive developments between the two countries are evident since the change of the government in Macedonia in June 2017, cases of demonizing the other are still present as a result of fake news and misinformation by the groups that are not in favor of the two neighboring countries reaching an agreement.

The idea of the panel was to discuss the difficulties societies face as a consequence from the fake news, misinformation, and lack of information about one another. The nature of the journalist profession has drastically changed over the last years – “no news” is now considered a problem in the media industry. Considering the importance of media in building and sustaining democratic societies, a new (business) media model must be developed that will both guarantee the freedom of the speech and will ensure that fake news phenomenon is being lowered to an acceptable minimum level.

The panel discussion gave a valuable overview on the topic thanks to the guest speakers Biljana Spaseska Georgievska (News Editor and Journalist for TV21), Angelos Athanasopoulos (To Vima weekly, Ta Nea daily, In.gr Portal), Vassilis Nedos (Kathimerini Daily), Vasko Popetreski (Journalist and TV Moderator, ALSAT TV – “360 Degrees”) and the moderator Milan Zivkovic (FES-Skopje).


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