Global Media Collaborates to Combat Misinformation with Pledge Supported by ICCO, The Trust Project, and The Council of Europe

Photo by Antoine Schibler

In a significant effort to address the growing menace of misinformation, the International Communications Consultancy Organisation (ICCO) and The Trust Project, with the backing of The Council of Europe, have joined forces to rally diverse media sectors. The collaboration, announced following ICCO’s European Forum held in Strasbourg on June 1st, aims to confront misinformation by fostering cooperation among membership bodies representing various facets of the media landscape, including PR and Communications, broadcast media, journalism, and online media.

Comprising ten commitments, the pledge places emphasis on dedicating resources to the ongoing education of employees, clients, and audiences regarding the threats posed by misinformation and the importance of relying on trustworthy media sources.

The Trust Project, an international consortium of news organizations dedicated to promoting transparency standards, has been working closely with technology platforms to reinforce and amplify journalism’s unwavering commitment to transparency, accuracy, inclusion, and fairness. Notable partners of The Trust Project include esteemed outlets such as The Economist, Il Sole 24 Ore, El Pais, El Mundo, The Washington Post, and the BBC, alongside a wide range of international and local news sources.

Sally Lehrman, the Founder and CEO of The Trust Project, underscored the significance of trust in news and information for the proper functioning of society. Lehrman expressed her optimism about engaging not only news outlets but also public relations firms, journalists, and policymakers in recognizing the importance of media literacy. Lehrman further emphasized the need for long-term initiatives that bolster support for news sources committed to integrity.

ICCO, representing public relations and communications consultancies worldwide, serves as the global voice of the industry. Its membership includes 40 associations that collectively represent 82 countries. These associations account for over 3,000 PR firms, emphasizing the widespread impact that ICCO can have in promoting trust and reliability in the media.

Massimo Moriconi, Europe President of ICCO and CEO of Omnicom PR Group Italy, welcomed the initiative to unite diverse stakeholders within the media industry against the threats posed by misinformation. Moriconi emphasized the collective responsibility shared by all parties to educate and combat the erosion of trust in media. Highlighting the indispensable role of trust in the functioning of PR agencies, Moriconi stressed the need for continuous education and enhanced media literacy efforts across all regions, age groups, and experience levels.

As the leading human rights organization on the European continent, The Council of Europe represents 46 member states, with 27 of them being European Union members. Patrick Penninckx, Head of Information Society at The Council of Europe, expressed his support for the pledge and collaboration between ICCO and The Trust Project. Penninckx acknowledged misinformation as a significant threat to society and highlighted the influential role that ICCO’s PR firms can play in shaping dialogue and action on media education. Penninckx praised The Trust Project for its impactful work, citing the consortium’s engagement with reliable broadcasters and publishers.

As the battle against misinformation intensifies, this collaborative effort between ICCO, The Trust Project, and The Council of Europe sets a commendable precedent for global media organizations. By fostering partnerships and advocating for media literacy, this pledge represents a crucial step toward fortifying the integrity of news and ensuring that the public can make informed choices in an era characterized by information overload.

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