Lately, there have been frequent talks about fighting “fake news” and promoting media literacy. The President of Latvia has already held two public discussions on “fake news” and provided media literacy lessons for 9th grade students. But what is being done to make the old book of fake news clear (and would not have a decisive impact on the upcoming Saeima (parliament) elections?
Fake news is just a buzzword, the problem has always been there, only the way it’s being disseminated has changed. In the fight against fake news, the state can use three solutions:
The first is the legal framework – Everyone has the right to ask the court to recall messages that adversely affect his honor and dignity if the distributor of such messages does not prove that they are true.
The second solution is the professional self-regulation of the communication industry. First of all, do not advertise public relations or advertising or journalism. Municipalities and government should look more closely on this issue and adjust the laws. They also should ensure that transparency is a common task for industry professional associations, both journalists and publishers. We know that we do not have one clearly dominant professional journalism culture in Latvia.
The third option is media literacy, and it is not so much about media policy and media makers as the first and second solution, but directly aimed on users or consumers. I it should finally be included in the content of compulsory education at all levels of education.
Ainārs Dimants: Fake news – an old trap (La.lv (online) (21/03/2018)