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U.S. allocates $500,000 for Baltic journalism programs to combat Russian propaganda

By Jared M. Feldschreiber
Trakai castle (Traku pilis) in Lithuania near Vilnius. The U.S. Embassy in Vilnius announced a grant of $500,000 for early to mid-career journalists to assist with combating Russian propaganda. Photo by Shutterstock
Trakai castle (Traku pilis) in Lithuania near Vilnius. The U.S. Embassy in Vilnius announced a grant of $500,000 for early to mid-career journalists to assist with combating Russian propaganda. Photo by Shutterstock

VILNIUS, Lithuania, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- The United States Embassy in Vilnius announced a grant of $500,000 to set up training programs for early to mid-career journalists and other media professionals from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia to combat Russian propaganda.

The initiative will provide training sessions and journalism workshops in these three countries, and also enable journalists to conduct their own investigations with cash reporting awards. Study trips to the United States to visit newsrooms, journalism schools and to learn about new models for funding will also be provided.

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The program will give the investigative reporters the skills and tools necessary to counter perceived misinformation by Russian media. It will be replaced by "fact-based, credible news reporting," as read by the notice reported The Kommersant.

During the March E.U. summit, participants instructed the foreign service to develop appropriate plans to counter perceived Russian propaganda - merely deemed as "misinformation."

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."

In April, the Lithuanian government banned the Russian TV station RTR because it routinely violated the law, which "prohibits war propaganda, hatred and inciting discord," Breitbart reported.

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Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite is one of the most outspoken critics of her Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. In November, 2014, she called Russia a "terrorist state," and urged the E.U. to do more and help Ukraine against the Kremlin's aggression in the region.

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