Dragomir Co-Authors Article on the Role of Public Service Media in Countering Disinformation

October 13, 2021

In a cross-national study published in Digital Journalism, Minna Horowitz, Stephen Cushion, CMDS Director Marius Dragomir, Sergio Gutiérrez Manjón and Mervi Pantti introduce a framework to assess how public service media can counter disinformation.

The authors argue that the remit of public service media (PSM) implies a responsibility to fight disinformation by both producing fact-based news content and finding anti-disinformation solutions. A robust PSM is one of the key structural factors contributing to national resilience to disinformation.

The article introduces a framework for assessing how PSM organizations can counter disinformation in different contexts. The framework provides a triangulation of contextual factors that determine the role of the PSM organization in the national environment, the activities carried out by such organizations aimed at fighting disinformation and expert commentary on the potential of PSM to reduce the impact of disinformation.

The authors’ approach is normative, seeking to provide a framework that defines how PSM could and should emerge as the cornerstone of the fight against disinformation.

To illustrate the framework, the study analyses PSM in the Czech Republic, Finland, Spain and the United Kingdom. The authors find that despite the global challenge of disinformation, each case country embodies different degrees of resilience against disinformation as well as that the positions of the studied PSM organizations differ greatly. The framework also highlighted that despite these differences, there were commonalities across the case countries in both programming and services for combating disinformation as well as in expectations that PSM would do so.

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