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Seminar hears fate of traditional media in the age of social media

By Laila Azzeh - May 17,2017 - Last updated at May 17,2017

AMMAN – Participants at a seminar on Wednesday discussed the fate of "professional" media in light of the dominance of social media.

Organised by EREM News and the Centre for Defending Freedom of Journalists (CDFJ), the seminar gathered media experts who called for the development of traditional media so that it can better compete in the future. 

"Professional media are suffering from rumours and fake news circulated on social media websites. Some are pessimistic about the ability of the traditional media to compete in the future, while others believe they have a good chance of surviving if they develop their tools," noted CDFJ President Nidal Mansour.

Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani agreed, noting that the world is currently facing unprecedented growth in means of communication, which requires awareness and legislation to ensure that they serve the public interest rather than becoming a destructive tool. 

"This adds a new burden to the professional media. Democratic countries today should force media websites to verify the credibility of their news," said the minister, adding that the huge influx of information places tremendous responsibility on media professionals. 

"First, we have to assimilate the influx of data and then analyse it…this is a huge burden for professional media," he said. 

The forum was held to mark the fourth anniversary of EREM News, an independent news website that covers political, economic, sport and cultural events taking place in the Arab world.

Al Arabiya TV Editor-in-Chief Nabil Khatib noted that the new media have changed the people’s consumption habits and thus changed the way they perceive information. 

"However, professional media never die. Media outlets that refuse to transform themselves to keep up to date with technology and changes are the ones that will die," he underlined, noting that the "brand" plays a major role in which medium people choose to follow. 

"People trust news that comes from a media outlet that is seen as credible to them," Khatib said. 

Chairman of the Jordan Press Foundation and Al Rai newspaper, Ramadan Rawashdeh, said media outlets should verify their sources and that newspapers should also invest in local TV channels and social media websites. 

"The traditional print media is dying. Therefore, it should turn into multi-media corporations that rely on journalists who are able to produce content with varied media tools," Rawashdeh noted.

 

More than 75 participants, including media figures and social media activists, attended the gathering.  

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