“Along with climate change, democratic change is one of the two greatest threats to humanity. The same level of mobilization is necessary. To put an end to the “information chaos”, we need the equivalent of the “conferences of the parties”, the famous COPs, and the equivalent of the IPCC, which we are going to launch “, said Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), in a column published on the The cross.

→ TRIBUNE. Why a summit on information and democracy in New York

In this forum, Christophe Deloire, who also chairs the Forum on Information and Democracy launched at the end of 2019 for “Promote access to free, plural and reliable information”, explains how the public debate has gradually been “Polluted” by “Communication technologies” who “Suffer from a virtual absence of democratic regulation”.

He also recalls how the equivalent of a “IPCC for information”, supported by 43 democratic states, “To put an end to the power of technological companies to issue and apply the rules of public space”.

A decision-making tool

Friday, September 24, 2021 at the French consulate in New York, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, a new stone was laid. During a ministerial summit on information and democracy, in which some twenty foreign ministers participated, an International Observatory on Information and Democracy was launched.

This tool will be particularly useful for analyzing, on a regular basis, trends in the global information space., said Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French foreign minister who chaired the summit, in a press release. This observatory will also be able to feed our work and our reflections in the multilateral institutions ”. “This is a major step forward in the face of information chaos. The observatory will lead to a shared assessment, on the basis of which the States can decide ”, believes Christophe Deloire.

Interest in the “New Deal for Journalism”

During this summit, the co-chairs of the foreshadowing group of this observatory were appointed: Angel Gurria, former secretary general of the OECD, and Shoshana Zuboff, author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.

Ministerial discussions also focused on the recommendations made by the World Information Forum in its two reports: To end infodemics (2020) and A New Deal for Journalism (2021). Published in June 2021, the latter proposes a “scale plan” financed by the States to the tune of 0.1% of GDP over ten years for “Ensuring the future of the social function of journalism”, weakened by the health crisis. “Several States are interested in this New Deal, which will be discussed in the European Parliament”, specifies Christophe Deloire.

→ READ. The World Information Forum calls for a “new deal for journalism”

Jean-Yves Le Drian also announced that the objectives of the Observatory would be presented during the Paris Peace Forum, November 11 to 13, 2021. And the summit participants agreed to meet once a year to “Deepen their work”.

An action “complementary” to that of The cross

Finally, the Forum announced a working group on “Social network account liability regimes”, whose composition will be announced shortly.

“If a regulation of social networks is urgent, there is also a need to invent an ethics of discussion journalism in the digital age, considers Christophe Deloire. And the principles articulated in La Croix’s call to “truly debate”, of which I was one of the first signatories, is the embryo of such a discussion. I find that very beneficial. And it is very complementary to our action ”.

→ MANIFESTO. Really debate! The 10 commitments of “La Croix” for the presidential election

RSF has also launched a collaborative initiative to fight disinformation, the “Journalism Trust initiative”, which aims to create indicators for quality journalism that can be integrated into platform algorithms. She is one of the nominees for the Michèle Léridon Journalism Grand Prix, from the Assises du Journalisme de Tours.

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