- News media continue to play an important role despite the emergence of new digital technologies, say prominent journalists
- “We should use technology, instead of technology using us”
Integrity, quality of content and commitment to professional values are vital to the growth and survival of digital platforms in a rapidly changing environment, prominent media industry leaders and journalists said at the 20th Arab Media Forum (AMF), which concluded in Dubai today.
Speaking at a session titled ‘Future of Digital Platforms', Akram El Kassas, Editor in Chief, Youm7 newspaper, said regardless of the digital platform used to distribute the news, integrity should always come first.
“We should use technology, instead of technology using us,”
he remarked. Khadeeja Al Marzooqi, Editor-in-Chief, Dubai Post said content credibility and quality, and ethical codes should be of paramount importance for digital media.
Panellists at the ‘Future of Digital Platforms’ session, which also featured Kawther Zantour, Editor-in-Chief, Acharaa Al Magharib, said the early development of new media was led by journalists with a strong background in traditional media. However, the new generation of journalists have largely only been exposed to social media platforms. Zantour said gaining mastery in visualising content is another element that digital media should focus on to grow and reach a wider audience.
Decision makers, writers, opinion-makers, renowned media personalities, and senior executives of leading Arab and international media organisations converged on Dubai for the milestone 20th edition of the largest media event in the region held from 4-5 October.
The second day of AMF also featured a session titled ‘The Future of Work in the Media Industry’, led by Zhang Li, Executive Manager, China Media Group. Zhang Li shared her insights on the emergence of new technologies in news media and the importance of ensuring media content is tailored for today’s audiences that rely heavily on smartphones to obtain news and information.
News media, she said, will evolve as new technologies emerge. Despite advanced technologies such as AI being deployed to produce and edit news, the human element and creativity remain crucial, she stressed.
During a panel discussion titled ‘Lebanese Media: The Golden Age and Beyond’, featuring Lebanese TV media personalities including Tony Baroud, Jessica Azar, and Zaven Kouyoumdjian, panelists discussed the journey of Lebanon’s TV media sector. The session was moderated by TV host Joyce Akiki.
A session titled ‘Digital Disruption in the Arab Media’, moderated by Nyla Janahi, Bahrain TV anchor, discussed the declining popularity of traditional media amid the proliferation of new social media platforms. The session featured Adhwan Al Ahmari, Editor-in-Chief of Independent Arabia, who spoke about how information posted on social media is often unreliable.
Al Ahmari said news media continue to play an important tole despite the emergence of new technologies. They will continue to add value by providing analysis and commentary, offering properly contextualised information and offering a thoughtful perspective of events, he added.
In another panel discussion titled ‘New Game-plans in Sports Media’, speakers discussed the future of sports media at a time when digital platforms focused on sports are gaining in popularity. Moderated by Sandrine Jabra, a sports anchor at Kooora.com, the session featured Yaqoob Al Saadi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Sports Channel; Ahmed Shobier, ON TV anchor; and Waleed Al Farraj, anchor at MBC Action.
A session focused on ‘The Rising Popularity of TV Drama’ discussed the state of television drama in the Arab world and its prospects in an entertainment landscape where on-demand video streaming platforms are challenging the legacy of traditional television. The session, moderated by anchor and media coaching expert Neshan Der Haroutiounian, featured Sadek Sabbah, CEO of Cedars Art Production; actress Cyrine Abdelnour; actor Abed Fahed; and Sarah Al Jarman, Director of General Channels, Dubai Media Incorporated.
The two-day AMF is being held in Dubai under the theme ‘The Future of Media.’ Launched by the DPC over 20 years ago, AMF is one of the major events in DPC’s annual calendar of events. The Arab world’s largest media gathering, AMF has emerged as the most comprehensive platform for knowledge exchange in the Arab media community. The annual platform, which attracts thousands of prominent thought leaders, has steadily evolved in scope and reach to encompass a broad international outlook.
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News Source: Dubai Media Office