The following pledge has been designed by representing bodies spanning PR & communications, broadcast media, journalism, institutions, and online media to acknowledge a shared responsibility in tackling misinformation, commit to shared solutions and prevention methods, as well as share the task of educating our own companies and employees, in addition to the wider public.
We, as media stakeholders and actors, recognise the threat of misinformation in all its forms and accept responsibility as journalists, public relations agencies, trusted communications advisors, advertising agencies, digital media agencies, fact-checkers, publishers, broadcasters, technology platforms, policymakers, and international institutions to:
- Uphold the values of free speech and democratic debate.
- Promote the importance of trusted, reliable sources of information and explain their collective value to employees, other media stakeholders and the public.
- Educate employees to differentiate trustworthy information from dis/misinformation and introduce protocols to institutionalize this process.
- Use large language learning models and other generative AI tools responsibly, recognizing both their potential value and the risk of undermining access to trustworthy information.
- Identify and take steps to eradicate both disinformation (intentional) and misinformation (unintentional).
- Pro-actively educate other media stakeholders offering guidance, tools and training to assist in identifying trustworthy information and removing misinformation online.
- Take collective responsibility in educating the public and assisting in the identification, alerting, and removing of misinformation.
- Share responsibility, resources, training and best practice across organisations, sectors and borders, developing concrete actions that can be applied by stakeholders internationally.
- Call out media suppression, especially when it occurs under the guise of protecting against misinformation.
- Educate and inform employees and stakeholders on the technology used in information threat by unreliable and unaccountable actors.
Trust Project Founder and CEO Sally Lehrman said:
“The ability to trust news and information is essential for a functioning society. It is increasingly difficult for all kinds of stakeholders to know how to identify and dispel falsehoods that undermine reliable information. It’s hugely positive to engage PR firms, journalists and policymakers alongside our news outlets to acknowledge the importance of media literacy and commit to long-term programmes that strengthen support for news with integrity.”
Massimo Moriconi, Europe President, ICCO and CEO Omnicom PR Group Italy said:
“To unite various media stakeholders around information threats is an important step. All sides must share a collective responsibility to educate. Without trust in media, PR cannot function. For PR agencies that means our staff, our clients, brands, influencers, government. At all experience levels, all regions, and all age groups, this is an ongoing challenge. I look forward to seeing more affirmative action across the media to continuously educate and raise media literacy internationally.”
Patrick Penninckx, Head of Information Society, Council of Europe said:
“I was pleased to support this pledge on behalf of the Council of Europe with our partners ICCO. Misinformation is one of the greatest threats to society and PR firms in ICCO’s membership can play a huge role in influencing the dialogue and action on media education. The Trust Project represents the most reliable broadcasters and publishers and their work is already having an impact”.
Call for interest and Next Steps
The next stage is to align further organisations & companies with the pledge and build a support network of sharing education resources, practices and holding eachother to account. If you would like to be part of this or discover more, please contact email@example.com
Read more: ICCO
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