In the midst of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, the media ministers of the G7 countries are focusing on freedom of the press at a meeting in Bonn.
Other focal points of the talks are the containment of disinformation and the protection and improvement of working conditions for media workers. The Ukrainian media minister is also expected to attend the meeting via video link.
The German Minister of State for Media Claudia Roth told the German Press Agency in advance: “Disinformation is a highly dangerous weapon because it tries to manipulate people in a perfidious way. We want to do something to counter that.” In Russia, this “poison” worked across the board.
Roth warns against propaganda
With a view to the war, the Green politician said: “Disinformation, propaganda and the creation of enemy images have become a dangerous tool of this war with other means. Right now, as democracies, we must not lean back.” When asked whether democracies underestimated the danger of disinformation, Roth said: “We were perhaps too sure: we have democracy and it lives on like this.”
The Minister of State also emphasized: “At a time when there is a global conflict between the idea of democracy and authoritarian forms of government and regimes, it is very important that we make clear the importance of a free, independent press and the protection of journalists and journalists for democracies.” The war of Putin’s regime is also a war against the culture of democracy.
In addition to the USA and Germany, the G7 also includes Japan, Great Britain, France, Italy and Canada. The EU Commission will also be represented at the talks on Sunday. The meeting of the G7 media ministers takes place around a week before the big G7 summit in Elmau, Bavaria. The forum is a traditional exchange between the major western industrial nations.
protection of journalists
Roth said: “We will discuss how we can strengthen the protection of journalists. Among other things, by taking them in and providing targeted support for the establishment of an infrastructure for media in exile, for example for journalists from Russian-speaking countries.” Among other things, there will be a conversation with Reporters Without Borders at the meeting. The organization had long been calling for more flexible visa solutions for media workers who have fled so that they can quickly continue working in Germany. The federal government recently announced simplified regulations for Russians who are particularly at risk.
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