At the Eastern Partnership Media Conference in Kyiv, Foreign Minister Sven Mikser said that media freedom is one of the pillars of democracy and emphasised the importance of media literacy and source criticism in the oversaturated information field.
“Estonia ranks 12th in the world press freedom index, media freedom and plurality are parts of our society’s foundation. Information must be accessible for everyone, but at the same time we cannot let propaganda hide behind media freedom,” Mikser said. “With the opportunity to obtain information from numerous sources comes the responsibility to make a distinction between truth and falsehood, between opinion and fact. We must learn and adapt to the overburdened information field. Something served as news may not be it.”
According to Mikser, propaganda and false information are not going to disappear in the foreseeable future, so we must deal with it systematically and consistently. “The importance of media literacy and source criticism grows. Even the strongest state will cease to function when it starts to hunt down all the lies and prove them wrong. The key to the solution is an informed media consumer and diverse media environment,” he said.
Speaking about the Eastern Partnership countries, Mikser said that Estonia aims to share its experience in promoting media freedom. “Free and professional media in the Eastern Partnership countries is in the interests of all of us and we would like to contribute to it,” Mikser added. “We have organised several projects through the Estonian Center of Eastern Partnership that have been oriented to media development and we will continue with them in the future.”
The media conference is one of the four Eastern Partnership Summit side events taking place during the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU. Additional information on the conference: http://www.eap-mediaconference.eu/
Ministry of Foreign Affairs