DOHA. — World media organisations have pledged to enhance co-operation in an era when traditional media is facing great challenges. At the World Media Summit (WMS) that opened Sunday, more than 350 delegates of media outlets from 100 countries gathered here to exchange their views on the theme of “The Future of News and News Organisations.”
The two-day meeting, hosted by Qatar-based Al Jazeera, comes at a time when media is undergoing profound changes and audience demands are increasingly diversified.
“Traditional media is facing both major challenges and unprecedented opportunities.
“As executives of media organisations, we all feel the profound changes in the media ecosystem,” WMS executive president Cai Mingzhao said in his speech titled “Deepening Co-operation and Exchanges, Facing Our Future” at the opening ceremony.
Cai, who is also president of Xinhua News Agency, said the rapid development of information networks and digital technology is catalysing a revolution in mass communication and has brought about unprecedented challenges for traditional news organisations around the world.
“The Internet, while bringing challenges, has opened a new door,” he said, adding that the advantages of professional news organisations are “prominent” and “irreplaceable”.
“The situation of the media environment is becoming severe,” Masaki Fukuyama, president and editor-in-chief of Kyodo News told Xinhua, echoing Cai.
“It is a very meaningful opportunity for each media organisation to exchange opinions about this situation.”
Gary Pruitt, president and CEO of the Associated Press, also highlighted the importance of such a gathering of the world media in current circumstances.
“It’s an important gathering of the world media with the focus on the future of the news, and how we can meet the challenges of the market,” he said.
“The way of news distribution and the audience have changed today, which is the reality we have to deal with,” Pruitt told Xinhua, adding that he will also focus on the common challenges encountered by the world media in his speech.
The notion of holding the WMS was first proposed by Xinhua with the aim of allowing leading media groups worldwide to better exchange views on the challenges caused by the emergence of the so-called “New Media” and to enhance their win-win co-operation.
The first and second WMS were held respectively in 2009 and 2012, with the number of WMS Presidium members growing from nine to 16.
“There are lots of platforms of media communication, but what is unique about the WMS is that this mechanism has created a platform for the leaders, which is missing in the past,” Dr Salah Eddin Elzein Mohammad, head of the organising committee of the summit, told Xinhua.
Mostefa Souag, director-general of Al Jazeera Media Network, also expressed his pleasure to hold the meeting. “The WMS calls for the social responsibility shouldered by media organisations. From an objective and fair way, our reports have meaning for the fate of the world.”
For his part, Cai in his speech considered the WMS as an “elite forum for communication and co-ordination for the global media”, and a platform which “is playing an increasingly important role on the international media stage”. — Xinhua.