Dis/misinformation, plurality & trust: summary of the EPRA thematic plenary session (56th EPRA meeting)

posted on 19 January, 2023   (public)

EPRA session addresses the effects of perceived disinformation, the impact of media polarisation and the role of regulators

Dis/misinformation, plurality and trust are topical themes underpinning European media legislation. On 13 October 2022, on the occasion of the 56th EPRA meeting in Antalya (Türkiye), media regulators from all over Europe gathered to disentangle the complexity of the concepts, highlight the interplay between them and discuss the role that media regulators can play. 

The first thematic plenary session addressed this key theme of the EPRA Work Programme 2022 under both an academic and practitioner's perspective.


1. Understanding the evidence and setting the scene

The first part of the session shared the outcomes of recent studies and research to better understand the mechanisms behind information disorders and mistrust and their effects on plurality. 

  • Identifying the type of actors behind dis/misinformation is crucial to fully understand the intention and motivations and to properly assess the full impact of such content
  • The supply of perceived falsehood might have significant indirect impact on media plurality
  • The role of online intermediaries should be better understood and taken into account when it comes to plurality regulation
  • Polarized media contribute to mistrust and higher selective news exposure.

Speakers: Sophie Lecheler, Vienna University; Anthony Szynkaruk, Ofcom (UK); Václav Štětka, The Illiberal Turn - Loughborough University


2. Designing and implementing effective solutions and interventions

The second part of the session invited a panel of regulators and experts to discuss effective solutions and interventions.  

  • Investing in research is essential but should not be used by stakeholders and governments to evade their responsibilities
  • Strengthening transparency, an objective of the revised Code of practice on Disinformation and the European Media Freedom Act, is key to build a trustful relationship with the users
  • More regulation is needed to keep a fair level playing field 
  • It is crucial that public media services manage to reach the young generation

Panellists: Ali-Abbas Ali, Ofcom (UK); Frédéric Bokobza, Arcom (FR) & ERGA, Ľuboš Kukliš (former EPRA Chairperson/chair of the 2022 ERGA subgroup 3), Olaf Steenfadt, Global Media Registry.
Setting the scene/keynote: Dr. Kirsty Park, EDMO Ireland and DCU FuJo Institute (IE)


For further details, see the background document and summary of the session as well as the speakers' presentations