Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – The General Secretariat of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has increased action against disinformation and fake news in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as media are essential and necessary tools for the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic especially by disseminating reliable information, raising awareness, and debunking so-called fake news.
The OIC efforts against fake news were stressed by its Permanent Observer to the European Union (EU) Ambassador Ismat Jahan in her intervention during the virtual OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting (SHDM) on Freedom of expression held last week to address the new challenges to freedom of expression.
Ms. Jahan highlighted that the OIC has launched a far-reaching media awareness campaign under the hashtag: “OICCountriesCombatCOVID19″ on the Organization’s social media platforms and has also created a special page on its official website regularly updating information and statistics on the spread of the novel coronavirus in the OIC Member States.
The OIC envoy pointed out that “free, independent and pluralistic media are essential for the functioning of a healthy democracy and promotion of the rule of law “, and which must function within the framework of professional ethics and respect for international laws of media and communication”.
Ambassador Jahan also echoed the call of OIC Secretary-General Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen for member states to work with the media to promote responsible use of freedom of speech, as well as holding the media accountable for perpetuating hate speech and extremism and to speed up implementing the OIC Media Strategy in Countering Islamophobia.