11 countries undertake to back Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI)
At the International Summit for Information and Democracy, that was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on 22 September, the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI) reached another major milestone when it won the support of 11 of the 47 signatory states of the Partnership for Information and Democracy.
Launched by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in 2019, the JTI is a self-regulatory mechanism designed to promote trustworthy journalism in the information ecosystem using transparent and objective standards, and is intended to be supported by democratic institutions.
The foreign ministers of Andorra, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Greece, Iceland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovakia and Slovenia – 11 of the 47 signatory states of the Partnership for Information and Democracy – signed a declaration recognising the difficulties that journalists face in maintaining their professionalism in an environment marked by targeted disinformation and smear campaigns aimed at discrediting their work.
The 11 countries hailed “the work done by the Forum on Information and Democracy in its reports How to end infodemics and A New Deal for Journalism on developing non-binding recommendations for all stakeholders, governments, private-sector digital actors and media.”
And they undertook to “support and encourage the development of self-regulatory practices by actors in the information and communication space, in particular the Journalism Trust Initiative,” and urged other countries to back the JTI.
“This strong commitment by countries that are members of the Partnership on Information and Democracy underlines the JTI’s importance as a market solution and its relevance to the challenges for journalism,” RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. “If JTI certification is taken into account by regulators and when aid is being granted to the media, it should be possible to promote the existence of free, independent, pluralistic and financially sustainable media. Last but not least, this declaration will encourage governments to mobilise such key stakeholders as digital platforms and advertisers.”
The backing from these 11 countries comes at a time of expansion for the JTI. RSF was pleased to announce on 3 October that the Alliance for Audited Media (AAM), a not-for-profit media auditor in the United States, has been accredited by a subsidiary of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to conduct independent audits to determine media outlets’ compliance with the JTI.
More than 350 media have committed to adopting the JTI’s transparency standards since its creation in 2019.
The JTI is designed to help build a healthier news and information space by providing an international set of journalistic standards for adoption by media outlets. They include certifiable criteria regarding professional editorial procedures and the transparency of media ownership, and are intended for use by media of all types, sizes and geographical locations.
Bertrand MOSSIAT, [email protected]
Chloé FIODIERE, [email protected]