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"The Next Media Revolution": The Annual Meeting of The Global Future Councils 2016 Explores the Future of Media

The discussion underlined the effects that emerging technologies are having on the way the world consumes news, as well as on media’s reach and influence

Dubai, November 13, 2016 

A session titled “The Next Media Revolution” was held on the sidelines of the inaugural Annual Meeting of The Global Future Councils 2016, taking place in Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah today (Sunday, November 13, 2016).

The discussion underlined the effects that emerging technologies are having on the way the world consumes news, as well as on media’s reach and influence, exploring the nature of the bonds that audiences have with traditional media, as compared with digital media.

The session was attended by Her Excellency Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Federal National Council Affairs, Chairwoman of the Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi, and twofour54; Mona Al Marri, Director-General of the Government of Dubai’s Media Office; Aaron H. Sherinian, Chief Communication and Marketing Officer of the United Nations Foundation; and Dr. Claire Wardle, Director of Research at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.

H.E. Al Kaabi said: “A revolution is indeed happening in the media sector, brought about by the rapid technological changes that have unleashed a new kind of media outlets – a kind that has uninterrupted, real-time daily interaction with audiences. This has drastically changed the way we consume news, the sources we rely on to get it, as well as the way we analyse it. Even the type of content we present to audiences has evolved; we now rely on infographics, summaries, and aggregators that allow users to learn of major news in a matter of minutes. This leaves traditional media lagging behind and struggling to keep up with their digital counterparts.” “Despite the challenges that traditional media is facing in the competition with digital media,” H.E. added, “the journalism career will not vanish any time soon. Traditional media still enjoys some advantages over its digital rivals – most notable of which are credibility and reliability. Editors need to correctly categorise the news, and be fully aware of who their target audience is and how to reach them.” H.E. Al Kaabi lauded the efforts of the UAE Government – led by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai – to connect with the youth and understand their language, by appointing a 22-year-old Minister of Youth, Her Excellency Shamma Al Mazrui.

On the same note, Mona Al Marri asserted that there is a gap between the news that traditional media cover and what social media and citizen-journalists deliver in terms of accuracy and transparency, insisting that traditional media remain a more reliable source of information.

Al Marri urged traditional media to address this gap and update the technologies they use, citing Dubai as an example of successful adoption of innovation and technology, referring specifically to the creation of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City in close proximity of one another.

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Meanwhile, Claire Wardle said that the current media revolution threatens the organisations that fail to keep up. “Some independent media outlets will have to close shop,” she explained, “leading to centralisation of information sources in the traditional media sector. News consumption patterns have evolved as the number of news sources has multiplied, although their reliability remains questionable.” Wardle went on to note that media organisations need to develop new models for distribution and subscriptions to be able to overcome the challenge of falling revenues.

Aaron Sherinian, for his part, said: “We must invest in media personnel; a journalist must possess the ability to ask the right questions – the questions that grab the reader’s attention and improve the quality of the content. This can make traditional media more sustainable and competitive, seeing as there is great demand for reliable news that deal with important topics such as energy and poverty, and that is supported by evidence.

To view the vid

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To view the video of the session, click here: https://www.weforum.org/events/annual-meeting-of-global-future-councils-2016/player?p=1&pi=1&id=82958

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