Eastern Partnership & Russia
Minsk Roundtable-Overcoming Disinformation in the Media
As a part of the project initiated by Dr. Carmen Krusch-Grün, and funded by a grant of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs in relation to Civil-Society-Cooperation; the ISHR Belarus Section held a round-table discussion on the theme: “Media, opinion formation, human rights”. This was held in collaboration with Board and the Scientific Expert Council of the Belarusian Section of the ISHR, with the Republican Public Association “Belarusian Philosophical Society” and the Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. It took place on October 17, 2019 in Minsk. The topic handled was “Disinformation in the media: Ways to overcome it”.
The organizing committee for the preparation and conduct of the meeting was headed by Professor Ivan Kotlyar, chairman of the board of the Belarusian Section of the ISHR, and the meeting was moderated by Alexandr Kuish, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. Scientists from the Institute and higher educational institutions (International University “MITSO,” Institute of Entrepreneurship and Parliamentarism, Belarusian State University (Institute of Journalism), Belarusian State Pedagogical University named after Maxim Tank, Brest State University named after A.S.Pushkin, and others), members of the Belarusian Section of the ISHR, and bloggers all actively participated in the round table.
The meeting was opened by Professor Ivan Kotlyar and Anatoly Lazarevich, director of the Institute of Philosophy of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, deputy chairman of the Republican Public Association “Belarusian Philosophical Society,” who made welcoming speeches to all those gathered and outlined the scientific framework and the need for discussion.
In-depth, informative reports on the phenomenon of disinformation (Alexandr Kuish), on the media landscape of the Republic of Belarus (Vadim Zhilko, member of the Belarusian section of the ISHR and the Belarusian Association of Journalists, deputy editor-in-chief of the “Inform-Progulka” newspaper), on technical means of disinformation (Pavel Pernikau, head of the press center of the Belarusian section of the ISHR), on the role of the media in shaping public opinion in the fight against disinformation (Emmanuil Ioffe, Professor at Belarusian State Pedagogical University named after Maxim Tank) were presented to the participants of the meeting.
As a political scientist and famous human rights champion, Professor Ivan Kotlyar spoke on the topic “On disinformation regarding human rights.” In his report, which caused considerable interest, he gave a critical expert assessment of the information broadcast on the author’s television program “Evening with Vladimir Solovyov” on June 6, 2019, on the channel “Russia,” exposing disinformation from the side of the anchor of the popular talk show.
As part of the program of the meeting, the thematic reports “Disinformation: the responsibility of the media and the responsibility of consumers of information,” “Media culture as a means of counteracting disinformation,” and “Disinformation and freedom of conscience” were also heard. All of them reinforced the speakers’ presentations and emphasized the importance of the problem under discussion once again.
Following the discussion of the problem, recommendations were made to the journalistic community, state institutions of Belarus, and international institutions, while all of the participants noted that the round table was conducted at a high organizational and scientific level and they themselves gained new knowledge that they could apply in the future.
Pavel Pernikau, ISHR Belarus