Standards needed for the accountability of online media and journalists

Considering the new media landscape and the exponential growth in internet media – which offer everybody the possibility to disseminate information to the public – PACE recommended that member States initiate discussions on norms and mechanisms required for “preventing the risk of information distortion and manipulation of public opinion”. Public service broadcasters should make full use of the technical possibilities offered by online media, ensuring that their internet presence complies with the same high editorial standards as offline, states the resolution adopted today on the basis of a report by Adele Gambaro (Italy, ALDE).

According to the parliamentarians, “all third-party content posted on the Internet presence of professional media falls under the editorial responsibility of those media.” In this connection, the resolution states that the European Federation of Journalists and the Association of European Journalists should call on their members to ensure that professional journalistic media uphold their editorial standards on their internet presence, including own media content, advertising, and third-party content, such as user feedback or comments.

Lastly, PACE recommends that the European Internet Services Providers Association call on its members which provide social media to develop ethical quality standards regarding their own transparency and the due diligence of their media services and voluntarily correct false content.