AZIR, the Romanian Section of the AEJ, celebrated World Press Freedom Day with a debate about „ Fake news in a post-truth era”. Members of AZIR travelled to Constanta (1), the greatest sea port of Romania on the Black Sea. There, press freedom has suffered greatly from by political pressures.
The debate was hosted by the University „Ovidius” in Constanța, with the participation of many students in journalism and philology. Their questions and comments about the value of news and newsgathering covered core issues: „What is the effect of fake news on young people? How can fake news be exposed and stopped? And how should journalists handle the reporting of public interest matters which might lead to social divisions or reprisals, in broadcasting, in print or online?
One conclusion was that personal integrity must be the first quality of a good journalist. It is the only way to keep faith with the truth and with the public.
On the occasion of this debate, AZIR, Romanian Section of AEJ, welcomed four new members from different towns in Romania. Each of them spoke about the particular problems for local journalism in their area. The debate raised a number of critically important issues which AZIR intends to examine in more depth in the near future.
(1)Constanța City is the ancient city of TOMIS, where the Roman Poet OVID, best known for his Metamorphosis, was exiled.
The celebration of the 3rd May WPFD is the 4th major activity of AZIR in 2017: in February and March we celebrated two great publications: „ Secolul 20” (named in 1987, in the Beaubourg Centre in Paris, as „ the best revue of art and literature in Europe”. Its director at that time was Dan Hăulică, who participated at the AEJ Congress in Bucharest, in 2011); and „ Convorbiri literare” (which is marking its 150th anniversary ( 1867-2017) of uninterrupted publication.
AZIR attracted a large number of Romanian intellectuals to these events.
The third special event was a debate with young students of journalism and political studies. The theme – „ The young generation versus Romanian politics?” – was inspired by the recent extensive protests of young people, in Bucharest and the whole country, against corruption in politics.