TALLINN – On Wednesday, heads of the associations of journalists of the Baltic states, Poland and Belarus made a public address to Russian journalists engaged in war propaganda and their organizations that broadcast official Russian propaganda about the war in Ukraine.
"For many years you ignored an important postulate of journalism -- verification of information. You broadcast lies from the Kremlin and escalate its degree by arranging long-running pseudo-discussions, while not allowing any dissent in essence," it is said in the address.
"The nonsense and verbiage of not always literally sober and adequate pro-government speakers was presented by you as the ultimate truth. Now the blood of children and elders of Ukraine, the crippled fate of besotted Russian soldiers is on your conscience," the journalists write.
In the address, the signatories call on journalists to publish facts or at least refrain from forwarding Kremlin-verified information.
"Get off this crazy carousel of hypocrisy, meanness and deceit," it is said in the address.
"With this public letter, we try to reach the conscience of the employees of the media controlled by the Russian state and remind them that they do not operate in a vacuum and not only under the gaze of their superiors and the audience, but their actions and words are noticed elsewhere as well," Helle Tiikmaa, president of the Estonian Association of Journalists, said. "Some ashamed journalists have already left Russia's propaganda channels. Maybe this letter can reach some more and awaken the real journalist in them," she added.
The address was signed by Andrei Bastunets, chairman of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, Helle Tiikmaa, president of the Estonian Association of Journalists, Wolfgang Ressmann, chairman of the national board of public access channels (bvbm) in Germany and organizer of Mediadialogue, Imants Liepins, member of the board of the Latvian Union of Journalists, Ilja Kozins, chair of the board of the Latvian Association of Journalists, Dainius Radzevicius, chairman of the Lithuanian Journalists Union, and Krzysztof Skowronski, chairman of the Polish Association of Journalists.