The BBC news director Francesca Unsworth said that independent, unbiased, truthful and objective journalism was needed more than ever because the fabricated news, pressure on freedom of speech increased and the governments and powerful organisations manipulated with facts and camouflaged them as journalism, the FoNet news agency reported on Wednesday.
Addressing the conference of the BBC newsroom in Serbian "Fake news and elections," Unsworth said that the independent media were accused of spreading fake news.
"We are public, not the state broadcaster. We are financed by subscription. We are owned by British people, not the Government."
"Public trust in media is seriously shaken in this region. When we talked about fake news last year, the investigative media were under aggressive attacks by the tabloids and their patriotism was questioned because of checking the facts and their truthfulness ," she added.
Unsworth said that BBC was in a good position in the UK because it was supported by British subscribers, and abroad by the Foreign Ministry's grants.
"We are public, not the state broadcaster. We are financed by subscription. We are owned by British people, not the Government," she added.
Impartiality, truthfulness and correctness are values which BBC is recognised by, and we are committed to maintaining them, Unsworth says, adding everyone is aware that Great Britain has gone through "a painful Brexit campaign" and elections loaded with disinformation.
"We were attacked from the left and from the right. BBC is trying to keep balance in this time when the independent journalism is under fire form the authority and audience," she said.
Unsworth added that the existence of social networks have persuaded politicians that they can bypass the mainstream media and communicate directly with voters. It's dangerous, and we've seen leading politicians spreading disinformation."
She said it was important that media called on the authorities to show responsibility, adding that during the election campaign in the UK, leading British politicians refused to give interviews to political correspondents.
We witnessed attempts to discredit journalists from all media, not only BBC's, but despite that, 90 percent of people watched the public broadcaster during the elections, and they trusted it the most.
The editor of BBC in Serbian Aleksandra Niksic said this year's conference was dedicated to a sensitive issue for media and public – the issue of fake news.
Disinformation floods daily life, and there is always a challenge to make a difference between the truth and lie, she says, adding the Balkans is a source of fake news.