Balkan countries most gullible when it comes to fake news

According to the media literacy in Europe survey, conducted by the Open Society Institute in Sofia, Balkan countries are the most susceptible to fake news due to the government control of the main media, population being inadequately educated and a weak trust in the society.

The survey, which encompassed a total of 35 countries in Europe, shows that, in the Media Literacy Index, Croatia ranked 24th, Serbia 29th, Montenegro 31st, Bosnia and Herzegovina 32nd and Albania 33rd. The worst situation in terms of media literacy is in Turkey and Macedonia.

Finland, which has a “strong public education system” and “widespread critical thinking skills” that are considered crucial to “resilience” to false news, is the best ranked.

According to the 2018 index, Nordic countries are best equipped to resist fake news, mainly because of their high educational and media freedom scores.

The index sees a slow improvement in the majority of Balkan states since 2017; however, Bulgaria and Romania are stagnating and Serbia, Montenegro and Romania are falling behind.

General decline of trust in institutions and in fellow citizens is damaging the scores of the Balkan nations.

“Fake news erodes trust and is associated with the growing polarization in society,” the report warned, saying that the phenomenon undermines and erodes the quality of political debates.  

(B92, 31.03.2018)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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