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Eastern Flank Audiovisual Regulators' meeting: Protection against war propaganda needed without abridging press freedom

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The need to strengthen the decision-making process of audiovisual regulatory authorities in order to protect the public from war propaganda without affecting the freedom of the press, with special attention to the situation in Ukraine, is the conclusion of the first meeting of the eight eastern flank audio-visual regulators - EFAR8 joining the media watchdogs from Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia and Romania in a videoconference hosted by the National Audiovisual Council (CNA); the event was organized in the context of the regional crisis and of the Ukraine conflict, CNA said in a release on Monday.

The main goal of EFAR8 is to strengthen the eastern flank in terms of audiovisual regulation, ensuring the information balance and protecting the role of journalists while preserving media pluralism.

"Eastern flank member states share similar values and are vulnerable to similar challenges. With similar legislation by virtue of their EU membership, the participants considered that the decision-making process of audiovisual regulators needs to be reinforced without affecting the freedom of the press, with special attention to the situation in Ukraine," the National Audiovisual Council said, Agerpres.ro informs.

The participating states presented the measures taken to counter manipulation amid the Ukraine war, while also tackling the technical procedures for the retransmission in Ukraine of EU radio broadcasters, and from Ukraine to EU territories, respectively.

The participants decided to set a working mechanism in place based on the exchange of best practices, whereby member states would inform each other in advance about manipulation and misinformation occurrences in the context of the Ukraine conflict and measures to counteract misinformation.

At the end of the meeting Romania proposed holding a second EFAR8 meeting in September, in Bucharest, with the participation in-person of the eight member states' representatives.

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