Representatives of global news agency alliances, unions and federations convene GMC roundtable
Published: Nov 17, 2023 10:15 AM


The second day of the Global Media Congress (GMC) 2023, which is taking place at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) hosted a session titled "Future Challenges, How to Corporate", featuring heads of the unions, alliances, federations and associations of news agencies, to discuss cooperation, challenges, copyrights and keeping pace with modern technologies, including AI.

Participants in the roundtable deliberated on key challenges facing news agencies today, including disruptive tech solutions that cause copyright and intellectual property violations, as well as strategies to preserve journalistic integrity amid rising pressures. Other topics explored include international cooperation and collective action to overcome such global challenges.

Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of the Emirates News Agency (WAM), underscored the vital role of news agencies as the main source that delivers news and information to audiences and other media platforms around the world.

"The increasing challenges facing news agencies have become more complex than ever at a time when technological shifts occur at a higher pace and social media gains more traction, further exacerbating the fake news blight," Al Rayssi explained, noting that new agencies are facing greater pressures to adapt to the shifting media landscape while ensuring the delivery of unbiased, accurate and credible content.

Dr. Fahad bin Hasan Al Aqran, President of the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA), said that, since their inception, news agencies have always served as the voice and media arm of governments, adding that they face great challenges, such as competing with social media platforms, protecting intellectual property rights, retaining talent, and keeping pace with technologies like AI, which entail developing new laws.

For his part, Alexandru Ion Giboi, Secretary-General of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA), noted that the rise in the number of PR agencies and social media platforms and the dangers that correspondents and reporters face are among the major hurdles in journalism.

Giboi called for leveraging cutting-edge technology to bridge gaps and expedite quality content creation, highlighting the importance of boosting cooperation and information exchange between news agencies.

Mohammed Abd Rabbo Al Yami, Director-General of the Union of OIC News Agencies (UNA), outlined two key pillars to support the operations of news agencies, which are maintaining credibility and utilising AI and digital solutions.

The General Manager of Maghreb Arabe Press (MAP), Dr. Fouad Arif, emphasised the importance of training young journalists and exchanging media expertise between Arab and Western countries, and the need to stay ahead on technological developments through a balanced approach to ensure stances on global issues are aligned.

Kiril Valchev, Director-General of the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) and Secretary-General of the Association of the Balkan News Agencies - Southeast Europe (ABNA-SE), affirmed that fake news and fact-checking are among the key challenges in today's media landscape.

"We must steer away from traditional coverage methods and present information in new ways," he added, noting that AI, while being useful in compiling information and fast access to content, cannot offer the required human skills related to field coverage.