The Thai Government’s Public Relations Department (PRD) is today holding “Maintaining Credibility and Trust in Journalism”, a collaborative workshop for addressing fake news in ASEAN
PRD Deputy Director-General Dr. Charoon Chaisorn presided over the opening ceremony of the workshop. He said the PRD is fully aware of the opportunities and challenges of communication in the digital era. Through digital sources, there has been a massive increase in the reach of media. However, disinformation and fake news may come appear in various forms and at any time. He believes that the professional journalists should jointly deal with this issue, and that they will be able to tackle the spread of fake news and disinformation, thus negating its negative effects more effectively.
On the regional stage, ASEAN member countries were urged to drive mechanisms to address disinformation and fake news while promoting education to improve media-literacy in the region. The call was made at the 14th Conference of ASEAN Ministers Responsible for Information in Singapore in May 2018. This is a similar focus to that of the Communication and Information Sector under UNESCO.
UNESCO Bangkok Director Shigeru Aoyagi said disinformation and fake news are issues around the world. Fake news is content that is deliberately and intentionally fabricated, but pretends to be true and to be news, and produced with the intention of benefiting its creator. Most recently UNESCO produced a Handbook for Journalism Education and Training entitled ‘Journalism, ‘Fake News’ and Disinformation. It has been translated into Vietnamese and is currently under translation into Thai.
In the workshop, participants learn from the challenges posed by information disorder and work together to identify effective responses for strengthening and rebuilding trust in journalism in ASEAN countries.