Defending the freedom of journalism by increasing the professional awareness of the media sector and demonstrating good resposnible governance in the media self-regualtion is one of the founding principles of the MCM. On 21 April 2016, the MCM organized a discussion under the title of “Democracy - Ethical Practices and Obligations of Media” to provide representatives of political parties with deeper insight into this matter.
As the election dates draw closer, the purpose of the event was to build common understanding amongst the political parties on the responsibility and importance of the media sector to adhere to ethical principles and practices.Representatives, election candidates and PR and media specialists of political parties such as the Democratic Party, Mongolian Revolutionary Party, Mongolian People’s Revolutionary Party, National Labour Party and Civil Will Green Party attended the discussion to share viewpoints and contributed diverse inputs.
Gunjidmaa.G, Member of the Board of Directors of the MCM, highlighted a recent finding that overall the public’s belief in the credibility of the media has been visibly decreasing. Also, Narantuya.D, Member of the Ethical Committee of MCM, vice-director of the ‘News Agency’, expressed her opinions on the current situation of the media sector, stating: “The reason behind the media sector’s falling professional standards is related to the scarcity of balanced information. Moreover, the major investments in the media are being fueled by political interests, meaning there isn’t a level playing field that nurtures real competition.”
Director of Public relations department of the Mongolia People’s Revolutionary Party emphasized that one of major contributing factors to the unprofessional standards is the lack of human resources. She emphasized that many young inexperienced professionals, who are professionally immature or with no professional backgroundare working in the media sector, and are unlilkley to be capable of producing media content that is well grounded or researched thoroughly enough.
tor, stating: “The reason behind the media sector’s falling professional standards is related to the scarcity of balanced information. Moreover, the major investments in the media are being fueled by political interests, meaning there isn’t a level playing field that nurtures real competition.”
Bazar.Ch, Member of the Political Council of the Civil Will GreenParty, expressed that “The need to behave ethically does not only apply to journalists, the concept is applicable to all. Specifically, unethical politicians weaken the State authority. No matter how much we assert that the Editors are not responsible for the authenticity of the informaton, it is harmful to spread information that is either defammatory or innacurate becausethe media has the power to affect the behaviour and voting decisions of the general public. It is therefore the responsibility of journalists themselves to determine the authenticity of the information published or broadcast.” He also commended that the establishment of the MCM “..as a strong step forward towards strengthening democracy in Mongolia.”
Moreover, the major investments in the media are being fueled by political interests, meaning there isn’t a level playing field that nurtures real competition.”
Tungalagtuya.M, specialist of the MCM Secretariat, highlighted that, “Until recently, the only choice for politicians that were victims of defamation or false information, was to submit their claims to the court. However, this has changed for the better since the establishment of the MCM. Taking journalists to court on issues relating freedom of the press can be counter-productive especially for the politician, as it could unfairly call into question their support for the freedom and indepence of journalism. However, now they are given additional options to approach to the MCM if they feel they have a case. By allowing the MCM to carry out its lawful function to resolve the complaint fairly and amicably protects both the politician and the media house from any supsicion of manipulation of the process.”
In partnership with the Friedrich Ebert Foundation a discussion session was held under the title of “Democracy – Ethics and Responsibilities of the Media”
As a result of all the discussions, the participants agreed that it is an inappropriate and unethical for the media to print or publish innaccurate or biased information in order to affect voters’ decision-making duringelections, and that the media organizations and political parties shall adhere to the ethical principles, to follow the applicable laws and regulations, and to promote democratic values by providing true and authentic information to the public.