Mrs Olha Herasymiuk participated in the conference "Propaganda for War and Hatred and Freedom of the Media" - Національна рада України з питань телебачення і радіомовлення

Mrs Olha Herasymiuk participated in the conference “Propaganda for War and Hatred and Freedom of the Media”

Mrs Olha Herasymiuk, First Deputy Chairman of the National Council took part in the conference “Propaganda for War and Hatred and Freedom of the Media” which took place on February 12 in Vienna, Austria. The event was jointly organized by the OSCE Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media, together with the German OSCE Chairmanship.

The conference Agenda was dedicated to discussing of the issues on human rights and legal implications of propaganda on media freedom, as well as on wider concepts of peace, security and co-operation in Europe. The presentations and discussions explored the best ways to protect media freedom, including the need for protection of independent voices. The conference was attended by delegations of the OSCE member states.

The conference consisted of a couple of sessions, such as: Legal definitions and challenges to propaganda, Public and professions challenges to propaganda. The presentations were made by the representatives of Austria, United Kingdom, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine. Ukraine was presented by Mrs Viktoria Romaniuk, Deputy Editor of StopFake.org. The experts across the OSCE region also discussed practices and definitions related to the phenomenon of propaganda and its influences on media, as well as the challenges it brings to journalists online and offline.

The event provided a platform for discussion of the non-paper guidelines “Propaganda and Freedom of the Media” and outlined the legal and historical grounds for condemnation of propaganda. The mentioned OSCE non-paper guidelines were presented by Mrs Dunja Mijatović, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media.

The document presents a broad view on the problem of propaganda. In particular, the non-paper guidelines describe two types of propaganda in the modern world. The first one is called propaganda for war and hatred, which demands legal action with appropriate measures in accordance with international human rights law. The second type of propaganda combines all its other faces. It can be against professional standards of journalism, but does not necessarily violate international law.

The purpose of elaboration of the non-paper guidelined was to facilitate the OSCE member-states in forming national and international law and policy related to the current spread of propaganda intertwined with the conflict in and around Ukraine.

The document reviews international and OSCE commitments concerning hateful international propaganda in the context of the obligations of member-states related to freedom of speech and media freedom. International standards of the United Nations, the Council of Europe and the European Union on this issue were also presented. There were given examples of national law applications and self-regulation mechanisms.

In general, the non-paper guidelines call for acknowledging the need to find a modern rationale for regulation of hostile propaganda and suggest relevant recommendations to governments, judiciary, civil society and media organizations in the OSCE region and beyond it.

The conclusions of the non-paper guidelines of the OSCE Office of the Representative on Freedom of the Media contain a number of mechanisms to respond challenges of propaganda, the conclusions of the document include information on a legal response and possible additional instruments:

– Enforcing media pluralism and generally condemning propaganda as inappropriate speech in a democratic nation and the profession of journalism.
– Abolition of government-run media and support of public service media with high professional standards.
– Developing international and intercultural dialogue, such as dialogue between journalists, other intellectuals, advancing media education, promoting democracy as based on peace, freedom of expression and diversity.
– Empowering activities of national and international human rights and media freedom mechanisms, specialized self-regulatory and co-regulatory bodies, professional organizations and independent monitoring institutions.
– Putting efforts into educational programmes on media and internet literacy.
– Media self-regulation, where it is effective, should remain the most appropriate way to address professional issues, including responses to propaganda for war, hatred and discrimination.

Mrs Olha Herasymiuk actively participated in the discussions and informed the global community about the Ukrainian Regulator position on countering propaganda and disinformation.

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