Aurelia Peru: An institution should be founded to deal with securing of information space

The discussions about information resilience and misinformation are useless and inefficient if an institution is not created to deal with the securing of Moldova’s information space. Such an institution should be founded as part of the Government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the presidential administration given that the Moldovans on November 15 elected a President interested in international communication and because the security-related powers are within the President’s remit, doctor habilitate in political sciences Aurelia Peru, PR and political communication expert, stated in IPN’s public debate  “Why information resilience is needed and how it can be ensured”.

“For the citizens to have trust in the administration and not to become victims of foreign misinformation, the Government should be more credible and should be supported by public opinion, a public from outside. This can be secured only by well-thought-out strategic communication. The strategic communication, as any advertising, political campaign, is prepared and several issues are promoted. But I don’t know what themes can be used now to promote the image of the Government in Chisinau,” stated Aurelia Peru.

According to her, the sources of the messages that penetrate Moldova’s information space are in the East, even if these say that they come from the West. The linguistic factor is very important in case of misinformation and its counteracting. “The StratCom-ul (EU body empowered to counteract misinformation in European area, e.n.) should take into account the dissemination of news in the Eastern Partnership countries, including in the languages spoken in these. I don’t know to what extent this is done. I’ve got the impression that the COVID-19 crisis moved the interest in securing the information space in the EaP to the second place,” stated Aurelia Peru.

According to her, the Audiovisual Council copes with the internal challenges and political bias of media outlets with difficulty. The Council includes only persons who are promoted by politicians and the institution cannot thus cope with such a challenge as information resilience. In the EU, there are platforms that work to secure the information space, while Moldova can use these instruments if it promotes the EU policies to democratize, modernize and support the freedom of the media.

The expert noted that the result of the presidential elections points to the evolution of political culture in Moldova. The number of fake news now was lower than in 2016. “It seems to me that after the broadcasting of military, news, analytical programs, primarily from Russia, was banned, the spirit and perception of our citizens changed. As the language is well-known in our space, the people who were less prepared from political viewpoint were manipulated by the media sources coming from the East,” concluded Aurelia Peru.

The public debate “Why information resilience is needed and how it can be ensured” was the 159th installment of the series “Developing political culture through public debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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