Disinformation: AEM Croatia publishes landmark study

posted on 22 May, 2023   (public)

A comprehensive, well-structured report to inform public policy to strengthen resilience to disinformation

On 8 May 2023, the Agency for Electronic Media (AEM), the Croatian media regulatory authority, released the English edition of the study “Strengthening Resilience to Disinformation: The State of Affairs and Guidelines for Action”.

This comprehensive study, which was authored i.a. by Dr. Marijana Grbeša Zenzerović and Dr. Iva Nenadić and edited by Robert Tomljenović (AEM) provides a:

- Detailed overview of the global media and information context; the extent and nature of transnational disinformation and misinformation challenges and their manifestation in Europe.

- A focus on computational fact-checking systems based on Artificial Intelligence technologies: looking at current experiences, examples of good practice and potential risks.

- An overview of key European documents in tackling disinformation;

- Data on the habits of media audiences and trust in the media from 2022 in Croatia.


Aims and conclusions

The aim of this study is to elaborate the basic standards, activities and criteria with a view to providing information and guidance for designing and implementing public tenders for activities and projects as part of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (both the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia and the AEM are holders). 

The report concludes that Croatia, as a society "with low levels of trust in institutions, underdeveloped political culture and low professional standards in journalism, is particularly vulnerable and subject to disinformation campaigns" and that public authorities should thus strengthen the resilience of society to disinformation by:

1) fostering quality and independent journalism,
2) improving journalistic professional standards,
3) establishing independent, specialised fact-checking projects,
4) strengthening trust in fact-checkers,
5) systematic empowering of citizens through development of media literacy skills,
6) developing computer-aided solutions to combat disinformation,
7) strengthening cooperation of key stakeholders and the synergy of research, developmental, educational and fact-checking activities, thanks to direct and indirect subsidies


Additional background: The original study was published in summer 2022 in Croatian. The study was published before the boom of generative AI, before ChatGPT reached 100 million users in just two months, before this technology brought new opportunities and challenges to content production, distribution, reliability, and manipulation. While AI is clearly a new frontier in disinformation research and policy, it is also clear that some key structural points and recommendations, elaborated in the study, remain areas for action.

Source: Agency for Electronic Media