Journalists Around World Meet Online to Discuss Fake News, COVID-19

The World Journalists Conference 2020 hosted by the Journalists Association of Korea kicked off Monday for a three-day run, in which 100 journalists from 60 countries will discuss the spread of fake news and the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the strategy for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Journalists from around the world used to gather in Seoul for the annual conference to discuss a variety of pending issues, but they are participating online this year due to the prolonged COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are pleased to hold World Journalists Conference 2020 online with several distinguished journalists from all over the world to discuss the themes of fake news and COVID-19, which are global problems, as well as peace in the Korean Peninsula, as we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Korean War this year,” Journalists Association of Korea President Kim Dong-hoon said in his opening address.

“Although we are only meeting online, I hope that you would all exchange opinions and recommendations so that we may all fulfill our calling as journalists as the conference provides us with precious opportunities to discuss major global issues.”

The annual conference was first organized in 2013 with the aim of promoting world peace and contributing to the advancement of journalism.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun said in his congratulatory message that the World Journalists Conference has been hailed as a shining example of public diplomacy, despite its relatively short history of eight years.

Journalists from around the world participate online in the annual World Journalists Conference 2020 that kicked off Monday at the Korea Press Center in downtown Seoul. During the three-day event, the participants will discuss fake news, COVID-19 and a peace strategy for the Korean Peninsula. / Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

Chung stressed that fake news poses a real threat to human lives, citing a paper published in a prominent U.S. journal that claimed misinformation about COVID-19 has led to approximately 800 deaths and 5,800 hospitalizations.

“I believe this demonstrates how vital trustworthy information is. In this regard, allow me to extend my respect to all the journalists around the world joining in this worthwhile occasion,” Chung said.

Regarding inter-Korean relations, the prime minister said the country’s belief remains firm that permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula is a noble goal and mission that the two Koreas must achieve.

“In fact, the COVID-19 crisis has laid bare the reality that the two Koreas constitute not only a shared community of fates but a shared community of life in terms of public health,” he said.

On the first day of the conference, world journalists discussed “various countries’ examples of and countermeasures to fake news and the future of the journalism.” Lee Min-kyu, a professor of the School of Media and Communication at Chung-Ang University, joined as the special speaker.

About 20 participants including Mashiul Alam from Bangladesh, a senior assistant editor at The Daily Prothom Alo, and Lynn Walsh from the United States, an assistant director of Trusting News and ethics chair for the Society of Professional Journalists, shared examples from their countries.

On the second day of the conference, journalists will discuss global responses to COVID-19 and disease control methods, with Kwon Jun-wook who heads the National Institute of Health joining as the special speaker.

On the last day, the participants will hold discussions under the theme of “The 70th Anniversary of the Korean War and Peace Policy in the Korean Peninsula,” with Lim Eul-chul, a professor of the Institute for Far Eastern Studies, joining as a special speaker.

Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun delivers a congratulatory video message at the World Journalists Conference 2020 hosted by the Journalists Association of Korea that kicked off Monday at the Korea Press Center in downtown Seoul. Most of the journalists participated online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. / Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

By Jun Ji-hye

Source: The Korea Times

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