Unbiased presentation of facts is becoming irrelevant in modern world. How do you find out what is true and what is false? Where do you find your source of reliable information? On October 17 participants of the discussion titled Freedom of Choice and the Right to Information in the World of Post-Truth shared their thoughts on this issue.
Maria Zakharova, official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation started with the topic of the subjective perception of reality. “In Russia, because of one famous film and because of our most recent experience we all know, where the power is. The power is in the truth. Another question is where the truth is. This issue is relevant not only to our country, but to the whole world. Another question: is there one common truth for everyone? It’s possible that there is. But how should we cope with our feelings and emotions? How should we deal with the individual perception of the world around us?” wondered Maria Zakharova, immediately offering an answer. “There cannot be just one truth. The question is how to present the information.” Maria Zakharova emphasized that journalists should understand the responsibility they take upon themselves: “Checking their objectivity level should be paramount for journalists and for those people, who work with information or write their blogs.”
When asked how to find a trustworthy source of information, Maria Zakharova suggested that people should read more forecasts and then compare them to the real situation. “Look for these materials, mark them, look for your authors and find your information sources that prove their forecasts to be accurate and their estimates to be correct,” advised the official representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the participants.
Ella Pamfilova, Chairperson of the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation also gave a speech in the course of the discussion. She said that in modern mass media a catchy picture often replaces objective presentation of information and freedom of interpretation replaces freedom of speech.
“Unfortunately we see that the strong and powerful ones impose their interpretation of the truth, showing their monopoly so that very truth that is ultimately far from being true. Very often freedom of speech is freedom of interpretation or freedom of word manipulation,” noted the chairperson of the Central Election Commission illustrating it with examples from her previous involvement with human rights activities.
“I have been to many flashpoint areas in the most critical moments, I have seen the sufferings of people and very selective coverage of these events in the world. On the other hand, some terrible tragedies are just kept quiet including the one in Donbass, for example. I have seen the indifference to the actual experience of people in that hell. Currently not the events themselves, but rather their interpretation matter. It’s enough to give a nice picture, footage, and there is no need to tell that somewhere Nazis are burning people alive, since the picture is right there,” stated Ms Pamfilova.
According to the chairperson of the RF Central Election Commission, “the war of catchy pictures” is a very dangerous thing and it is essential to keep a cool head. In her opinion, this is the only way to see the true status of the current events.