The Emirates News Agency (WAM) organised a roundtable entitled "Shaping Economic Narratives: The Role of News Agencies" as part of Day 1 of the World Governments Summit (WGS) 2024, which kicked off on Monday. The event was attended by a number of officials and directors of news agencies from the Arab region, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The roundtable highlighted the role of news agencies in supporting future economies, promoting innovative business concepts, and their readiness to deal with emerging economic sectors. It also emphasised the role of media professionals in future business journalism, as well as the importance of media partnerships in boosting experience exchange and upskilling young media professionals.
Mohamed Jalal Alrayssi, Director-General of WAM, stressed the key role of news agencies in promoting future business concepts and conveying them to the public effectively. He noted that the media sector is seeing remarkable advancements in keeping with global technological developments, with the emergence of new technologies in media work utilising artificial intelligence (AI) and data, which will shape the future of business media.
In a statement, Alrayssi said that the roundtable highlighted four key issues, including the importance of engaging with new economic sectors, the challenges and opportunities arising from these sectors, ways to improve business journalism, and the importance of strengthening strategic partnerships between news agencies and various media outlets.
Highlighting the roundtable's outcomes, Alrayssi explained that the meeting culminated in several recommendations, including the need to train and upskill workers in news agencies and media outlets by concluding partnerships with government and private institutions concerned with business affairs to train journalists on how to deal with data and information related to contemporary economic concepts, including the green economy, digital currencies and AI.
For his part, Mohammed Abd Rabbo Al Yami, Director-General of the Union of OIC News Agencies (UNA), stressed the leading role of news agencies spotlighting new economic models despite challenges. He underscored the need to keep pace with the shifts seen across the contemporary media sector and adapt to new technological developments.
Dr. Farid Ayar, Secretary-General of the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA), said that news agencies play a leading role in shaping public opinion on economic trends and the public's understanding of it. He noted that most of the world's news agencies have specialised economic departments tasked with preparing economic news and reports.
Grégoire Ndjaka, Chief Executive Officer of the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB), stressed the need to ensure the current capabilities of news agencies and their readiness to cover and interact with emerging economic sectors such as green energy, cryptocurrencies and industries based on AI.
For his part, Adrian Wells, Enex's Managing Director, pointed to the growing interest in new and future economies, noting that the opening session of the World Governments Summit highlighted the digital economy and AI, which are two of the main pillars of the economy of the future.
Sana Ali , Director, Pakistan Press Foundation stressed the importance of cooperative efforts between news agencies, government institutions and economic entities and their potential impact on supporting and promoting future economies. She pointed to the need to work on exchanging best practices and successful case studies of partnerships that lead to the formation of clear and useful economic visions.
Elena Savova. Deputy Head Economy News Desk. Bulgarian News Agency (BTA), stressed the need to prepare media professionals to work in business journalism with a focus on future trends and innovations. She pointed to the need for development programmes to enhance the skills of journalists covering economic fields.