Jeddah: The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation (OIC) stepped up action against disinformation and fake news in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The OIC General Secretariat described the media as essential and necessary tools for the fight against the novel coronavirus pandemic especially by disseminating reliable information, raising awareness, and debunking fake news.
The OIC efforts against fake news were stressed by its Permanent Observer to the European Union (EU), Ambassador Ismat Jahan in her intervention during the virtual OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting (SHDM) on Freedom of Expression held last week to address the new challenges.
Ambassador Jehan highlighted that the OIC has launched a far-reaching media awareness campaign under the hashtag: “OICCountriesCombatCOVID19" on the organisation’s social media platforms and has also created a special page on its official website regularly updating information and statistics on the spread of the novel coronavirus in the OIC member states.
The OIC envoy pointed out that “free, independent and pluralistic media are essential for the functioning of a healthy democracy and promotion of the rule of law", which must function within the framework of professional ethics and respect for international laws of media and communication”.
She also stressed the OIC Secretary General, Dr Yousef Al Othaimeen’s call to member states to work with the media to promote responsible use of freedom of speech, to hold the media accountable for perpetuating hate speech and extremism, and to speed up the implementation of the OIC media strategy in countering Islamophobia.