Experts Discussed the Challenges of Modern Media in Prague

At the end of November, the II Media Forum: freedom of journalism in the context of human rights, new technologies and information security was held in Prague. The three-day event was attended by more than 100 journalists, experts, political scientists from 24 countries, representing various regions of the world. The aim of the forum was to find common approaches, to bring together the positions of the expert community on a number of pressing issues in the field of modern media.

The forum was organized by the Russian journal International Affairs, the independent European platform Modern Diplomacy, as well as the Bulgarian journal International Relations.

The challenges facing modern journalism are not highly specialized. The modern world has entered a new era of ideological multipolarity, the context of which cannot be left out of the brackets when discussing modern media, freedom and human rights. Illusions ended in the same time with the end of “unipolarity”. Among them: blind faith in democracy and liberalism. Francis Fukuyama, the author of the concept of the “end of history,” admitted this: “What I said back then [in 1992] is that one of the problems with modern democracy is that it provides peace and prosperity but people want more than that… liberal democracies don’t even try to define what a good life is, it’s left up to individuals, who feel alienated, without purpose, and that’s why joining these identity groups gives them some sense of community.”

Speakers and participants in the session “Modern Journalism in the New Ideological Multipolarity” spoke out differently. The report of the famous philosopher A. Shchipkov says that the ability to control social processes within the framework of the previous system is becoming weaker, the accumulation of internal contradictions in this system is becoming more obvious, and most importantly, the author claims that a change in the modernist paradigm in the very near future is inevitable. “The current social and economic state of society is defined as the state of post-capitalism. Its peculiarity lies in the fact that the usual financial, economic and cultural instruments for managing society cease to work. In order to maintain social order and stability, the world’s political centers of power have to use increasingly harsh forms of military coercion, artificially create crises, conflicts and lines of tension around the world. But this path can only stabilize the situation for a short time. The next step in the radicalization and at the same time archaization of the neoliberal social and political regime was the transition to new totalitarian social and political concepts, such as “conflict of civilizations”, “risk society” and “digital society”, A. Shchipkov believes.

Director of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences Alexei Gromyko noted: “Today we are witnessing the decline of the West-centered world, with which their version of liberalism and the era of the unipolar world are collapsing.” But there were those among the speakers who believed that liberalism, despite the intensification of the processes of globalization, would nevertheless remain the main ideological and economic model throughout the world.

Meilinne DeLara, the head of the Benelux diplomatic council, in her speech at the Forum elaborated on the topic of the existence of modern society in the world of post-truth. According to her, political fraud is based on technological processes and business models: “The very essence of a democratic idea is distorted. Post-truth is an emotional argument that serves to create public opinion, ”says Meilinn DeLara.

The Chief Editor of the Bulgarian journal International Relations in his speech also emphasized that the era of globalization is over. In this connection, states will need to revise their economic and social policies in order to preserve themselves.

During the sessions “The modern world and the responsibility of journalism” and “Journalism of the post-information era, or the“ golden age of misinformation ” journalists, experts discussed the main problems that journalism faces today. New media and traditional media, the blogosphere and social networks, fakes and deep fakes, the dominance of the post-modern model of modern culture and its influence on the media, the dormancy of the secondary reality of the media, the destruction of memory institutions (rewriting history) – all of these became the subject of professional discussion of the participants.

The famous Italian journalist, Director of the Pandora TV channel, Julietto Chiesa, noted that the information field is practically under the control of mainstream media that reflect only the official news agenda, as well as corporations that primarily pursue their commercial interests.

Chinese journalist Tom Wang, Editor of the online platform GlokalHK, emphasizes the importance of finding the media its “place” in a changing world: “As the new media world moves towards the dominance of algorithms, fake news reports, “echo cameras” on social networks, for media with ethics and standards, it is increasingly important to find a viable business model in this new landscape. ”

On the third day of the Forum, ICT experts met at the session: “Information and communication technologies in the context of the media.”
It should be noted that ICT, being in conditions of total breakdown of the world order, are very vulnerable: technologies are influenced and have an impact, information takes on new forms that have a significant impact on a person, his consciousness, society and states. Experts from different countries (Czech Republic, Russia, India, Switzerland, Bulgaria, etc.) expressed concern that the issues of cybersecurity and the consequences of the introduction of artificial intelligence (AI) in various fields, including the media, are not discussed in the international community with due seriousness and attention, which is a great threat to all of humanity. The theses voiced at the conference that “international law is not adapted to the challenges in the cyber sphere” are a call for interaction, cooperation and the development of common approaches in the field of ICT in order to maintain the security of the world.