Moscow, October 18, 2017
Presenting at the First International Youth Communication Forum “MediaPost,” held at the Russian State Social University October 10-11, chairman of the Synodal Department for Church and Society and the Media Vladimir Legoida spoke to students about modern trends influencing the development of the journalistic profession. In particular, he lamented the sacrifice of truth in favor of increased traffic, reports pravoslavie.ru.
“Your tenure as students has fallen at a time when there is a transformation of the journalistic profession occurring, which can be called the death of the mass media as a source of facts. Today, the veracity of information has been sacrificed to ‘traffic,’” the departmental head stated.
“Until recently, one of the basic, fundamental journalistic standards was that journalists are obliged to check facts, ideally using three sources. Even now, in many publications, including in the West, there is the separate position of the so-called ‘proofreader’—a specialist who verifies titles, names, numbers, and so forth,” he added.
According to Legoida, there used to exist a division of publications into “quality” and “substandard,” depending on their objectivity, which in our days has largely lost its relevance from the point of view of fact-checking.
The chairman also highlighted that often the victims of unprincipled journalists are real people, with unconfirmed news about their private lives being unceremoniously put on public display. In his opinion, the growth trend in the number of unverified and deliberately “fake news” will continue and even intensify in the near future.
“I think tomorrow will only be worse. The reason is the same—the pursuit of ‘traffic,’ views. Soon information technology will allow us to create a digital human model and upload ‘video recordings’ with it, indistinguishable from the real thing. That’s the reality of tomorrow. And if it used to be a journalist’s obligation to check facts, then now it’s the obligation of the reader, listener, or viewer,” Legoida concluded.