The conference focused the challenges of objective media coverage from war and conflict areas, how to deal with the detention of critical journalists in autocratic states, and the issue of disinformation through social media coverage.
The conference, co-sponsored by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, the Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture, the OSCE Representative on Press Freedom and the Lithuanian Association of Journalists, was opened by Foreign Minister of Lithuania, Linas Linkevičius. He stressed the danger of instrumentalization of free media by state institutions and called for an intense debate on dealing with targeted disinformation in social networks or online news portals.
The first session of the conference focused on the increasing violence and intimidation on journalists and asked how the security of media correspondents in crisis areas can be sustainably secured by the OSCE. The second session was discussed the challenges of disinformation through social media portals. With regard to the Baltic States, special emphasis was placed on the misuse of media for state-run propaganda. Even though media in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania enjoys a high degree of trust in European and international comparison, the influence of Russia and local Russian media in particular is creating an intense debate about the independence of parts of the media coverage in the Baltic States.