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TASS chief points to media’s social responsibility as benchmark of professionalism

The head of TASS also highlighted the dangers of spreading fake news and misinformation
Director-General of TASS news agency Sergei Mikhailov Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS
Director-General of TASS news agency Sergei Mikhailov
© Anton Novoderezhkin/TASS

BEIJING, June 9. /TASS/. Social responsibility has become an essential part of the media business and a standard-setting benchmark of professionalism for news agencies and the mass media, Director-General of TASS news agency Sergei Mikhailov said on Friday.

"Relatively substantial changes have occurred over the past several decades in relationships between the government, civil institutions, private companies and the media," the TASS chief stated at a media forum of the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) association, a grouping of the world’s leading emerging economies, which came to a close in the Chinese capital.

"As a result of globalization, integration, technological progress and many other developments, principally new forms of social interaction have come into the spotlight, and one of them is social responsibility," Mikhailov explained.

"In my opinion, regarding media organizations and the mass media, social responsibility has become an important part of their work and a certain benchmark of professionalism in society," the TASS chief said.

Speaking about the responsibility of journalists and the media for quality, objectivity and reliability in the information they distribute, the TASS head highlighted the dangers of spreading fake news and misinformation.

"This problem has morphed into a global one and it affects the interests of all countries," Mikhailov noted.

"At the same time, the notion ‘social responsibility’ has another meaning, which holds a deeper sense related to the specific characteristics, traditions and mentality of the Russian people. We understand the phrase ‘social responsibility’ as help," the TASS chief pointed out.

"I wouldn’t be mistaken, if I said that a lack of kindness has overtaken the contemporary world. But at the same time many people are ready to respond to community volunteer initiatives, participate in voluntary service movements and various charitable actions," he said.

The TASS chief spoke about the news agency’s non-profit media project, "Doing Good Together" that seeks to shed light on the endeavors of charity funds and the possibilities for individuals to take part in this activity.

"Literally a month ago, together with the charity fund To Live, TASS launched the column "Dobrosti" (Good Deed News) on its website, in its accounts, social networks and the Telegram messenger. The project emerged as a response to a considerable amount of negative news on media websites and in social networks," the TASS chief told the forum participants.