Focus Taiwan App

DW envoy calls for media cooperation to counter propaganda, censorship

07/01/2024 02:47 PM
To activate the text-to-speech service, please first agree to the privacy policy below.
Head of German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle's international relations unit Christoph Jumpelt during his keynote speech in Taipei on Monday. CNA photo July 1, 2024
Head of German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle's international relations unit Christoph Jumpelt during his keynote speech in Taipei on Monday. CNA photo July 1, 2024

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) A representative from the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) on Monday called for cooperation among independent news outlets to counter the growing propaganda and censorship challenges posed by authoritarian regimes.

In a keynote speech in Taipei, Christoph Jumpelt, head of DW's international relations unit, said there was a need for "cooperation among all news organizations" that uphold democratic values, as "independent journalism [was] under growing pressure worldwide."

"More countries are lacking free media, and journalism is being criminalized by [authoritarian] regimes who fear being held accountable," he said at a forum hosted by Taiwan's Central News Agency as part of its centennial celebrations.

The dangers of such censorship were apparent during the COVID-19 pandemic, when there were people facing harassment and horrendous treatment by authorities for challenging government narratives and warning the public of the health crisis, according to Jumpelt.

It is therefore imperative to "restore fact-based reporting by independent media organizations and sustain the ability to reach all audiences around the world with reliable information," he said.

According to Jumpelt, authoritarian governments have not only targeted the independent media in their own countries but have also sought to influence public opinion beyond their national borders, through increasingly more sophisticated propaganda.

That type of global outreach by countries like China and Russia has expanded the "threat to free speech, objective information, and democratic values" to "a new dimension," he said.

As Taiwan continues to be targeted by Beijing through the media, the free press in Taiwan must work to keep its users abreast of China's intentions and "intimidating" mind games, Jumpelt said.

"What [authoritarian] regimes have in common is their fear of a well-informed public," he said. "This goes to show the power behind free media."

Media outlets in democratic societies should not have to fight that battle alone, Jumpelt said, stressing the need for them to join forces to counter propaganda and censorship and to improve access to objective information.

"Together, we stand a far better chance of stemming the tide of propaganda," he added.

Jumpelt's keynote speech, which was delivered on behalf of DW Director General Peter Limbourg, who had to cancel his trip to Taiwan due to heath issues, was followed by two panel discussions on the impact of disinformation and social media influencers on media workers.

More than 20 veteran journalists and media executives from 18 countries were invited to the one-day forum in Taipei.

(By Teng Pei-ju)


Related News

● Technology, old-school journalism key to combat disinformation: Foreign media

The keynote speech begins at 27:30.
    We value your privacy.
    Focus Taiwan (CNA) uses tracking technologies to provide better reading experiences, but it also respects readers' privacy. Click here to find out more about Focus Taiwan's privacy policy. When you close this window, it means you agree with this policy.