U.S. allocates $500,000 to fight Russian propaganda in Baltic states

The program will include training sessions and workshops in journalism in the Baltic countries. Source: Reuters

The program will include training sessions and workshops in journalism in the Baltic countries. Source: Reuters

The American Embassy in Lithuania is looking for a contractor to organize training sessions.

The U.S. Embassy in Vilnius has announced the preparation of training programs for Russian-speaking journalists from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to assist the Baltic states in their struggle against the influence of Kremlin propaganda.

As specified on the embassy’s website , the program will be designed for a year and will include training sessions and workshops in journalism in all three countries, the opportunity for journalists to conduct their own journalistic investigations with cash reporting awards, as well as study trips to the United States to visit newsrooms, journalism schools and new models for funding and “delivering quality journalism in the digital age.”

“As Russian propaganda and misinformation multiplies, the media in all three countries need the skills and tools to counter it with fact-based, credible news reporting,” says the notice.

The notice itself is actually a tender to find a contractor organization, which will carry out an appropriate program of study of journalists, while the U.S. embassies in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia will carry out educational programs’ “planning and coordination.”

Both U.S. and foreign-based public and private non-profit organizations may propose their version of the training program until August 31. The total cost of the program is to be around $500,000.

Previously, it was primarily representatives of European countries that actively proposed initiatives to “fight against anti-Russian propaganda” in the EU and the former Soviet bloc. In March, European Union leaders also agreed to fight the “disinformation” from the Russian side.

Participants of the EU summit in Brussels in March even instructed the foreign service to develop an appropriate plan for information countermeasures.

The EU's individual countries also proposed their initiatives – for example, the Netherlands and Poland agreed in June to launch a Russian-language news agency, “which will not use the language of propaganda and aggression, and will provide reliable and accurate information.”

First published in Russian in Kommersant.


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