Quality journalism as a response to disinformation online: MSI-JOQ Meeting

posted on 25 April, 2018   (public)

MSI-JOQ entrusted to prepare a Draft recommendation and a study on a possible standard-setting instrument

The first meeting of the newly formed Committee of experts on Quality Journalism in the digital age (MSI-JOQ) was held on 8-9 March 2018 in Strasbourg.

The committee operates under the supervision of the Council of Europe Steering Committee on Media and Information Society (CDMSI) and draws upon the existing Council of Europe standards and the relevant jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. The focus of the first meeting was to discuss the form and scope of the deliverables it is expected to finalise by the end of its mandate in December 2019. On this occasion, the MSI-JOQ elected Ms. Katharine Sarikakis (Professor of Communication Science, University of Vienna) as its Chair and Ms. Alexandra Borchardt (Director of Strategic Development at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism) as its Vice-Chair.

The following conclusions and decisions have been made during the meeting:

  • MSI-JOQ will prepare a standard-setting proposal (possibly a Draft recommendation) on criteria and measures for ensuring a favourable environment for the practice of quality journalism in the digital age. For this purpose, the MSI-JOQ centred its discussions around the following elements: the guiding principles of quality journalism related to its status as a public good, its mission, core values, key characteristics and outcomes; the challenges and opportunities resulting from the changes brought by the digitisation of the media environment (the so-called enabling and disabling factors); and remedies for the disabling factors, the building blocks of journalistic sustainability in the digital age.
  • MSI-JOQ will also study the promotion of media and information literacy in the digital environment and reflect on a possible standard-setting instrument. The Committee agreed that the purpose of the study is to give impetus to the process of implementation of the Recommendation on media pluralism and transparency of media ownership; inform the conception of media literacy guidelines for the future Recommendation on promoting a favourable environment for quality journalism in the digital age, and identify the possible need for further research and/or policymaking. As for its content, the expert committee agreed that the study should: describe the skills and knowledge required by the public to recognise and value quality journalism; summarise and analyse the range of best practice case-studies which promote these skills and knowledge in order to identify opportunities for new or other stakeholders to advance media and information literacy.

The draft recommendation on promoting a favourable environment for quality journalism in the digital age will be drafted by Ms. Nadia Bellardi and Mr. Darian Pavli, while the study on the promotion of media and information literacy in the digital environment will be produced by Ms. Martina Chapman and Mr. Markus Oermann.

The next MSI-JOQ meeting will be held in Strasbourg on 24-25 September 2018.

Additional EPRA Background: Note that "News in the digital age" was the focus of an annual EPRA plenary session in 2017, the main deliverable of which was a background comparative paper on the Role of Regulators when implementing Accuracy, Objectivity and Impartiality in practice.

Source: CoE Freedom of Expression Website