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Joining Forces Against Misinformation: Societal Resilience in Central and Eastern Europe

Updated: Feb 26


SCIENCE+ Conference

Location: Bucharest, Romania 

Dates: 28-29 February 2024



AGENDA


28 February 2024


15:00 – Registration 


15:30 – 15:40 Opening remarks  

Mihai Constantin, Secretary of State, Spokesperson, The Government of Romania 


15.40 – 17:40 TRUST IN MEDIA VS TRUST IN CONTENT: ENGAGING GEN Z


Presentation of the results of qualitative studies on trust in media, perception of migrants and young people’s engagement with independent media from Romania, Hungary, Czechia, and Slovakia, as well as results of Bulgaria's knowledge-sharing event centred around the same topic.


Speakers:  


Paul Acatrini, Managing Partner & Research Director, Cult Research, Romania

Barbora Hronová, Head of Qualitative Research, InsighLab, Czechia

Dr. Jowita Radzińska, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland

Dr. Bence Ságvári, Senior research fellow at the Centre for Social Sciences, HUN-REN Hungarian Research Network, Hungary

Dimitra Voeva, Head of Research Department, Trend Research Center, Bulgaria  


Moderator: Marian Voicu, Veridica, Romania 


17:40 – 17:45 Wrapping up of the Day 1 agenda.



29 February 2024


8:30 – 9:00 Registration of participants


09:00 – 09:30 Official opening 


Opening remarks Maryia Sadouskaya-Komlach, Chairwoman of the Board, Free Press for Eastern Europe


Keynote Speakers: 


9:10 Dr. Raed Arafat, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Head of the Department for Emergency Situations, Romania 


9:20 Mr Giles Portman, His Majesty's Ambassador to Romania


Moderator: Marian Voicu, Veridica, Romania 


09:30 – 10:30 TRUST IN MEDIA AND BEYOND 


This international panel will involve media, governments, and researchers reflecting on the new ways to improve trust in independent media, science, and authorities across the region. Special focus will be put on what media and journalists can do to assist in the process and where the cross-sectoral collaboration is most beneficial.


Speakers: 


Iulian Bulai, Deputy in the Chamber of Deputies of the Romanian Parliament (USR), Romania

Miloš Gregor, Adviser to the Prime Minister for Information Literacy and the Fighting Disinformation, Masaryk University, Czech Republic   

Ivan Radev, Member of the Management Board of the Association of European Journalists, Bulgaria 


Moderator: Marian Voicu, Veridica, Romania  


10:30 – 11:00 Coffee break 


11:00 – 12:00 RESEARCH-BASED APPROACH: BEST MEDIA PRACTICES 


Newsrooms from across the region and SCIENCE+ will share success stories where introducing research into the editorial strategies helped media to (re)connect with their audiences. Case studies will demonstrate how to tackle data- and science-related disinformation on health, migration, food security, and other misleading narratives common to the target region.


Speakers: 


Rafał Madajczak, Editor in Chief, Gazeta.pl, Poland  

Nikoletta Nagy, Editor, Telex.hu, Hungary  

Ancuța Stăvar, Editor in Chief, StiriMed, Romania 

Maroš Žofčin, Editor, Živé.sk, Slovakia


Moderator:  Maksym Eristavi, SCIENCE+ Monitoring & Analysis Coordinator, Czechia


12:00 – 13:00 BEYOND CRISIS: IMPROVING COMMUNICATION BETWEEN STAKEHOLDERS 


When it comes to crises, the region has faced several, from the flood of war-caused migration to shocking crimes with ethnic motivation. While the governments, media and civil society did their best to warn the populations against quick labelling and conspiracy theories, the lack of coherent communication between those stakeholders often stood in the way. Could better formats or platforms build long-term trust between governments and society? What can the media do to help?  This session will be a mix of presented solutions by governmental and non-profit stakeholders and a sharing of experiences from other participants.


Speakers: 


Jan Látal, Information and Communication Officer and Strategic Communications Expert, EEAS

Ludmila Hamplová, Science Editor at SCIENCE+, member of the Czech Cabinet Office Stratcom, Czechia

Colonel Vladimir Milenski, Director of the Ministry of Defence Information Centre, Bulgaria


Moderator: Marian Voicu, Veridica, Romania  


13:15 – 14:15 Lunch 


14:15 – 15:30 THE SUPER-ELECTION YEAR 2024 


How are Romania and other countries in the region preparing for European elections against the background of global uncertainty with major elections happening around the globe? What are the main challenges and promising ways forward? The session will focus on Romanian expertise with the participation of several international guests. 


Speakers: 


Lightning Talk

Tomas Kriššák, Partnerships and Communities Manager, Gerulata Technologies, Slovakia


Followed by Panel Discussion 


Cristina Guseth, Director, Freedom House Romania, Romania 

Paula Rejkiewicz, Head of Strategic Communication and Countering Disinformation Unit, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poland 

Mădălina Voinea, Analyst, Expert Forum, Romania


Moderator:  Marian Voicu, Veridica, Romania  


15:30 – 15:45 Wrapping up of the main conference agenda


15:45 – 16:00 Coffee break


16:00 – 19:00  PALLADIUM AND INTERNATIONAL FOUNDATION FOR ELECTORAL SYSTEMS (IFES) SOLUTION-SEEKING WORKSHOP: 

Protracted emergency and community cohesion: debunking misleading narratives about Ukrainian refugees in the context of healthcare and education crime 


The interactive workshop will explore the main misleading and incendiary narratives about Ukrainian refugees in Central Europe, their potential effect on community cohesion between Ukrainian refugees and host communities as well as proposed approaches to mitigate their effects. 


The topics explored will focus on incendiary and misleading narratives relating to healthcare, and to criminal issues. Workshop participants will explore potential approaches and specific case studies on strategies that media organisations could take to mitigate community cohesion risks. These may include:


-          Sharing stories about Ukrainians’ contribution to the local economy and society, about the local community’s hospitality towards Ukrainian refugees.

- Analysing the range of root causes of conflicts between communities and covering any related misconceptions.

-          Covering the phased approach that governments have taken towards adjusting programmes and support systems to target the most vulnerable as the war continues.

-          Covering the collaborations, joint activities and mutual benefits of diverse classrooms and after-school activity groups.

-          Covering outcomes of refugee and host community stories, convening community dialogues bringing together refugee and host communities to exchange information, experiences, and stories around specific topics such as the war in Ukraine or the refugee experience.

-          Tracking disinformation sources, sharing intelligence. 

-          Developing codes of conduct for organisations that work in data, and media to limit the effects of disinformation.

-          Enhancing information literacy among populations.  


 

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