The Baltic states have been heavily targeted by disinformation campaigns waged by Russia. But Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia are, however, hardened and sensitized to information attacks, having learnt many lessons from their history of dealing with Soviet era Kremlin propaganda, notes RAND analyst Marta Kepe.
Strategic communications planning is required to address the Kremlin’s sophisticated disinformation operations and propaganda – the “geopolitics of disinformation,” currently being tracked by the Centre for European Policy Analysis (CEPA), she adds. Efforts to counter the Kremlin’s information warfare should consider the expertise of Lithuania’s “information influence identification and analysis ecosystem (PDF)” project that monitors and analyses physical and electronic information environments, and consult with the NATO Strategic Communications (STRATCOM) Centre of Excellence, based in Latvia, Kepe recommends. RTWT
Among Eastern European media systems only six are free (the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia) – one fewer than in 2015, Transition Online reports.
The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) has announced an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that support policy objective to support independent media in the Baltics:
DRL requests proposals that support local independent media outlets and public broadcasters and enhance media literacy in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. By focusing on the supply of and demand for objective information, the program aims to improve the competitiveness of credible, professional media, and foster expanded domestic audiences for fact-based, reliable information.
The program should strengthen the ability of independent media and public broadcasters in the three countries to better compete in a transforming media marketplace by engaging broader audiences, while deepening the media’s understanding of changing habits and demands among current consumers. Program activities could include enhancing local independent media outlets and public broadcasters’ ability to produce original, high-quality, professional, objective, and attractive content in local, Russian, and/or English languages; providing financial assistance for content creation, particularly in Russian language; increasing financial sustainability of media outlets by bolstering their ability to engage in market analysis and use relevant analytics to develop new business models and widen their audience; creating spaces for media practitioners to exchange ideas and best practices, and develop new approaches and solutions; and providing small grants and mentoring to new independent media outlets.
Application Deadline: August 7, 2017