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European news agency alliance against fake news is born

European Newsroom, ANSA, DPA, AFP are among the founding members

08 September, 20:07
(ANSA) - BRUSSELS, 08 SET - A common platform to tell the story of the Europe to come. That is the mission of the European Newsroom (Enr), which was inaugurated Tuesday evening in Brussels at the headquarters of the Belgian news agency. The project, funded by the European Commission, involves 18 news agencies, including ANSA, Afp and Germany's Dpa, which is coordinating the initiative.

"The war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine, rising energy prices or climate change know no boundaries. To better grasp the full picture, readers need a cross-border dimension and a constant reminder that European countries are not islands but depend on each other," said European Commission Vice President Vera Jourova, who opened the event.

Evoking different forms of pressure on the media, ranging from physical threats to economic pressure, Jourova stressed the need to equip ourselves with tools so that no media "turns into a propaganda medium." Next week, she announced, the European Commission will present the Media Freedom Act, a package of rules to protect media freedom in the EU.

Also present at the event were European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas, who is responsible for promoting the European way of life; Ambassador Francesco Maria Talò, Italy's permanent representative to NATO; ANSA CEO Stefano De Alessandri; and Dpa ceo Peter Kropsh, among others. "A collaboration between European news agencies to share best practices, improve the quality of news and fight disinformation: that's what the European Newsroom is," De Alessandri said at the event.

On the same wavelength was European Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, who stressed the crucial role of news agencies in "providing objective and accurate information. They are the key to building a shared understanding of the facts and countering the growing problem of disinformation and open propaganda. As the saying goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but facts are facts," Gentiloni noted. "In this context, I am confident that the European Newsroom will bring EU activities closer to citizens, improve the quality of public debate, and ultimately strengthen our democracies.

The project aims to foster a spirit of cooperation between journalists from EU and accession countries by strengthening the European information space and citizens' access to quality information that also acts as a curb against the spread of disinformation. In addition to editorial work, journalists from the newspapers involved will also be engaged in training courses, for example on fake news and fact checking.

The agencies participating in the initiative are: Dpa (Germany), Afp (France), Agerpres (Romania), ANSA (Italy), Apa (Austria), Ata (Albania), Belga (Belgium), Bta (Bulgaria), Efe (Spain), Europa Press (Spain), Fena (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Hina (Croatia), Mia (North Macedonia), Sta (Slovenia), Tanjug (Serbia) and Tasr (Slovakia). They are joined by Pap (Poland) and Ukrinform (Ukraine), which have the status of partner news agencies. The multilingual website can be found at (ANSA).

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