March 5, 2018

World Press Freedom Day 2018

By Eva Maria Grabmair, SEEMO Contributor

You cannot not communicate (Quote: Paul Watzlawick)

People will always express their opinions and feelings to a higher or lesser degree, be it in their living rooms, back gardens, at the office, at schools, universities, on the city streets or taking a stroll in the countryside… And this is our right; it is exactly what we should be doing, not least in turbulent times such as these. And it is the media’s right and duty to report about what is happening, carefully checking and double-checking that what is to be released can be verified as being authentic. Then people will talk and write and blog even more about what is being reported, and – political, business and other decision-makers– will, as often as not, act upon it.

One essential aspect of new media is the speed at which this communication happens. New media holds a vast potential to really keep people up to date – or more precisely – up to the moment. There is, however, also a potential to underestimate the consequences of that speed and thus to overreact.

Nobody can verify in an instant whether the information can be proven. This is not supposed to mean that information provided by (new) media should be mistrusted; rather, that it should be checked and compared with the information other media sources – traditional and new – provide on the respective topics in order to be able to make informed decisions for oneself.

News is always close to hand – not least thanks to new media. With regard to World Press Freedom Day the release of news, observing good practice and with high quality. is and will always be based on thorough investigative research, unpopular though it may sometimes be. Opinions may differ. In our time; not only beauty but – unfortunately also truth – is in the eye of the beholder… it is to be hoped that people will not close their eyes when faced with verifiable facts presented by those who have dedicated themselves to representing media at its very best:

This also emphasized how valuable communication between representatives from different media is.

An exchange of ideas and experiences benefits all, for them to be able to work toward achieving the highest standards in journalism while making sure that media workers’ safety is ensured as best as circumstances allow. SEEMO has been working successfully for many years to achieve these goals and will continue to do so: This effort is definitely worthwhile!

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