16:03 GMT24 November 2020
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    The UNESCO vowed to further support rights of the media sphere employees, as well as to follow the situation regarding the European Parliament's resolution calling to counteract anti-EU propaganda by Russian news outlets, the organization said in a letter to Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — In response to an appeal by Sputnik News Agency and Radio, the UNESCO Communication and Information Section sent a letter to Sputnik, stating that “UNESCO will continue, using all the international instruments available, to support the rights of media professionals to collect and disseminate information” and “will continue … to follow the situation closely”.

    The letter follows the passing of a controversial resolution by the European Parliament, which some believe threatens media freedom in Europe. The organisation also assured Sputnik that “since its establishment, UNESCO has worked to promote international legal norms that are aimed at ensuring that every woman and man has the right to seek, receive and impart information and ideas, regardless of frontiers and mode of communication”.

    The support for Sputnik came in the form of a letter, signed by the Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information Frank La Rue, following the resolution of the European Parliament. The motion, aimed at “counteracting propaganda” against the European Union by “third parties”, took aim at media organisations such as Sputnik and RT and has already earned the ire of both the International Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ).  

    An excerpt from the letter said: “… UNESCO will continue, using all the international instruments available, to support the right of media professionals to collect and disseminate information and opinions in a safe environment, as well as to facilitate journalism based on the values of professional ethics and quality reporting. Thanking you again for drawing our attention to this issue, you may rest assured that UNESCO will continue to fulfil its mandate and to follow the situation closely, as relevant”.

    Following the passing of the resolution on EU strategic communications aimed at countering so-called ‘propaganda’ on November 23, Sputnik News Agency and Radio has called on several European and American organisations that support media freedom to take measures to prevent its effects, which are believed to be a threat to freedom of the press in Europe. The agency has outlined its aims in an official letter, signed by its Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan on November 23, which was sent to the relevant bodies. The international news agency addressed entities, such as the United Nations, and UNESCO, to seek support for freedom of the press.

    Sputnik is a news agency and radio network with multimedia news hubs in dozens of countries. Sputnik broadcasts through its websites in over 30 languages, as well as on analogue and digital radio, mobile apps, and social media. Sputnik newswires, available by subscription, 24/7 in English, Arabic, Spanish and Chinese.

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    Tags:
    mass media, OSCE, UNESCO, European Union, Russia
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