Научная статья на тему 'Safety in online media – freedom of the media; safety of media actors and media education'

Safety in online media – freedom of the media; safety of media actors and media education Текст научной статьи по специальности «СМИ (медиа) и массовые коммуникации»

Ключевые слова

Аннотация научной статьи по СМИ (медиа) и массовым коммуникациям, автор научной работы — Moeller Ch

In this paper, prepared for the international conference ‘Mass Media – Society – Education: Media Safety Problems’ at the Chelyabinsk State University’s Department for Journalism and Media Education from September 30 – October 3, 2013, I would like to address three dimensions of media safety and security in online media.

Похожие темы научных работ по СМИ (медиа) и массовым коммуникациям , автор научной работы — Moeller Ch

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Текст научной работы на тему «Safety in online media – freedom of the media; safety of media actors and media education»

Вестник Челябинского государственного университета. 2013. № 22 (313).

Филология. Искусствоведение. Вып. 81. С. 37-39.

Ch. Moeller


Рассматриваются три аспекта медиабезопасности и безопасности в интернет-СМИ: свобода средств массовой информации, безопасность участников массовой коммуникации, защита несовершеннолетних.

Ключевые слова: свобода средств массовой информации как необходимое условие безопасности, безопасность участников массовой коммуникации, защита несовершеннолетних, медиаобразование.

Freedom of the Media as a Prerequisite for Safety. In the current discussions about media safety and security it is often heard the right to freedom of expression needs to be ‘balanced’ with security necessities. The fight against terrorism, fighting illegal online content and countering the extremist use of the Internet is seen by some as a justification for imposing limits to freedom of expression.

There are of course legitimate approaches to media regulation, both on the national as well as international level. Governments also have a role to play when it comes to Internet content and to protecting children, fighting racism, incitement to hatred and cybercrime. The question is not whether governments should or should not regulate the Internet. The questions are how, what and to what extent content should be regulated. However. these measures must be necessary in a democratic society, prescribed by law and must not limit freedom of expression. Freedom of the media is a fundamental human right that cannot be negotiated. Democratic governments have a positive obligation to create an environment in which everyone is free to seek, receive and impart information also on the Internet - including journalists and media professionals.

In this regards, it is important to note that Freedom of the Media on the Internet also must be defended offline as ‘traditional’ forms of censorship such as harassment or imprisonment of online journalists or physical raids of editorial offices do apply for online media, too. In spite of technical innovation, web 2.0 and social media, it must not be forgotten, that this traditional censorship also ‘works’ for the Internet.

Freedom of the media is also not reserved for media companies or editorial offices. This right cannot be interpreted only in the context of traditional media, but applies to any form of journalistic work that is meant for public distribution, be it professional or ‘citizen’ journalism. As it is a basic

human right, there cannot be different subsets for traditional media and new media.

Only the free flow of information, also across borders, and unhindered access to the Internet create sufficient leeway for innovations in information technology and society in the digital age.

Eventually, security matters and human rights, including media freedom, freedom of expression and access to information, are interdependent, intertwined and interrelated. We should be thinking of new ways to connect and bring closer human rights and security in the 21st century.

All measures that aim to increase security must be accompanied by meaningful counterweights to protect human rights. By pitting free speech concerns and security issues against each other there is the risk that both will be conquered, and we may find ourselves with no security and no rights.

In any case, all discussions about media freedom online, cybersecurity, data protection, hate speech, privacy or the underlying technical infrastructure of the Internet need international co-operation in policy making and the inclusion of corporations and civil society along with governments in order to keep the Internet a global open forum to exchange ideas and share information, also across borders.

Safety of Media Actors. Violence against journalists and other media workers, including online media actors such as bloggers, remains a very serious threat. Throughout the world, online journalists and bloggers are intimidated, threatened, beaten up or murdered. For 2012, the non-governmental organization (NGO) ‘Reporters without Borders’ (RSF) counted 90 journalists killed worldwide in connection with their profession. For 2013 only until April, RSF already counted 19 murdered journalists and media workers.

More than 600 journalists and media workers had been killed in the last ten years. In other words, every week a journalist loses his or her life for bringing news and information to the public1.


Ch. Moeller

Particularly at risk are journalists reporting on-social problems, including organized crime or drug trafficking, voicing criticism of government or the-powerful, reporting on human rights violations or corruption, or reporting from conflict zones. These attacks represent not only an attack on the victim but also an attack on everyone’s right to receivein-formation and ideas: “An attack on a single journalist is an attack on the whole society”2.

The chilling effect of intimidating journalists or physically assaulting them can be seen in many countries, also in the OSCE region. Violence against journalists is a direct attack on freedom of expression and goes beyond the individual person that is silenced.

In addition, in a significant number of cases the pattern of crimes points to contract killings or premeditated assaults involving attackers who are able to operate with little fear of detection and arrest. Among journalists a climate of fear has grown acute in some places because of a very low rate of arrest and conviction of the perpetrators and masterminds of these crimes. Impunity has gradually become commonplace in many regions, particularly with regard to killings and serious assaults against journalists3.

In 2013 UNESCO dedicated World Press Freedom Day to the safety of journalists. The organization called for a special protection of media workers from threats to the security of themselves and their families.

The UN is promoting its ‘Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity’ and invites more States to ratify this document and to collaborate with regional human rights bodies, NGO and media houses in creating a safer environment for journalists.

The world’s most significant international governmental media freedom mandates recommended in their 2012 joint statement that state officials should unequivocally condemn attacks committed in reprisal for the exercise of freedom of expression and should refrain from making statements that are likely to increase the vulnerability of those who are targeted for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

In addition, states should reflect in their legal systems and practical arrangements the fact that crimes against freedom of expression are particularly serious inasmuch as they represent a direct attack on all fundamental rights4.

Protection of Minors and Media Education. Another issue when it comes to safety of online media is the protection of the vulnerable from poten-

tially harmful content, i.e. the protection of minors. Different systems have been established to protect children from unsuitable media content offline and online. All these measures have in common that they potentially also restrict access to information by adults who have a legitimate right to access such content.

Also, access to new information and communication techniques is not only exciting for children and young people because it allows them to communicate worldwide, it is also important for their professional future.

As a medium, the Internet poses new problems for the protection of minors. This is due to the rapidity of the Internet infrastructure and the ever-changing content and services, the sheer volume of content and providers, the crossborder accessibility and the “aggressiveness” of adult content5.

Freedom of speech and information is one of the most important basic rights in our society. Adults can and should decide for themselves how to use the media. However, there can be hurdles for adult access, if this is necessary in order to protect minors. Scholars argue, however, that young people shouldn’t be viewed as victims who need to be rescued from the excessesand evils of their culture -which is simply the intersection ofhigh technology, mass media and consumer capitalism - ratherwe should focus on their emotional engagement with mediaand the genuine pleasures they receive, promoting real questioning and analysis6.

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Given the mass of information in our ‘global village’ - as Marshall McLuhan coined it already in the 1960s - the challenge foreducators in the twenty-first century is to respond to multiple literacies, and more specifically, to media literacy - an essential skill in this age of electronic information, entertainmentand communications6.

Media literacy has been practised around the world formore than 40 years, and in many countries. In this regard, media education is not about having the right answers but asking the right questions, the result is lifelong empowerment of the learner and the citizen: ‘The end result of media education is a media literate individual who has the ability to read the messages that are informing, entertaining, and selling to him or her daily. It’sthe ability to bring critical thinking and life skills and pertinent questions to all media productions and texts - frommusic videos to Web environments, to product placementin films and virtual advertising on football fields. It’s aboutanalysing what’s there, and noticing what’s not, and questioning what lies behind media productions - the motives,the money,

the values and ownership - and how these factors influence the content’7.

Instead of banning or blocking unwanted content and thus - even with the best intentions in mind -potentially limiting the free flow of information, it is increasingly important to educate young people to recognizeonline hate in its many forms and to understand the strategies used to target them. The most effective long-range strategy forhelping young people is to give them lots of information aboutonline hate - as well as the critical thinking skills to decodemessages of hate, and read between the lines.

Young people today use technology for entertainment,to learn, to research, to buy and to communicate. Governments, industry, education and library sectors realize that thethinking must change regarding the importance of traditionallit-eracies - not to upstage them - but rather to encompass allthe lifelong learning skills that young people require for themanagement and understanding of information and messagesthat they receive, create and repurpose8.


1 UNESCO (2013) Ensuring the Safety of Journalists and Media Workers [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/events/ prizes-and-celebrations/celebrations/international-days/world-press-freedom-day/2013-themes/ensur-ing-the-safety-of-journalists-and-media-workers/

2 OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (2013) OSCE Media Freedom Representative on journalists’ safety ahead of World Press Freedom Day [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://www. osce.org/fom/101173

3 OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media (2012) OSCE Safety of Journalists Guidebook [Электронный ресурс]. URL: http://www.osce. org/fom/85777

4 Joint Declaration on Crimes against Freedom of Expression (2012) The United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media, the Organization of American States (OAS) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, 25 June 2012

5 Jennifer Siebert (2007)Protecting Minors on the Internet: An Example from Germany. In: Christian Moeller/Arnaud Amouroux (2007) Governing the Internet. Vienna: OSCE.

6 Cathy Wing (2004) An Introduction to Internet Literacy. In: Christian Moeller/ArnoudAmouroux (2004) The Media Freedom Internet Cookbook. Vienna. OSCE. P. 163.

7 Ibid. P. 165.

8 Ibid. P. 176.

Вестник Челябинского государственного университета. 2013. № 22 (313).

Филология. Искусствоведение. Вып. 81. С. 39-43.

А. А. Морозова


Рассматривается проблема медиабезопасности населения не только с точки зрения смыслового содержания материалов интернет-СМИ, но и с лингвоэкологической. В центре внимания автора оказываются такие факторы влияния журналистского текста на аудиторию, как орфографические ошибки и опечатки в тексте, лексические, грамматические и стилистические нарушения, фактические ошибки и неточности и др.

Ключевые слова: медиабезопасность, медиаграмотность, текст, Интернет.

Средства массовой информации являются социуму, не только приносит пользу потре-ключевым аспектом жизни современного об- бителям данного контента, но и зачастую ока-щества. Но медиасфера, призванная служить зывает негативное влияние на формирование