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Social networks cannot replace professional journalists

July 06, 2012, 14:49 UTC+3

This is the gist of the opinions voiced by participants in the World Media Summit

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MOSCOW, July 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Social networks will be unable to compensate for the need for professional journalists. This is the gist of the opinions voiced by participants in the World Media Summit at the plenary session entitled Business and the Media: Media Survival Model in Economic Crisis Conditions. Role of the State and Business.

News consumption has never been so great as it is today – more than one billion of iPhones are used for getting information online, said Associated Press vice-president and editor-in-chief, John Daniszewski. Quite often it is the people who make the news, he said, adding that people still need information created by professionals.

The evolution of technologies is not so important as it may seem to some, nothing will ever be able to substitute for a fair and impartial reporter who provides accurate information, Daniszewski said.

The economic tsunami has shaken the world, he went on to say. This highlights the special role of the mass media and technologies, but at the same time one should not shirk one’s liabilities in order to stay highly professional and objective in gathering and presenting information, he said.

For his part the editor-in-chief of the daily Moskovsky Komsomolets, Pavel Gusev, called for not confusing professional journalism with so-called “journalism” in the social networks.

“Itar-Tass and AP subscribers are certain that the news wires have been proofread and confirmed by dozens of people. As for the stuff one finds in the social networks, it is unreliable as a rule,” he said.

Gusev is certain that “if we ruin journalism to give way to the social networks, where ‘somebody has heard something somewhere,’ we shall upset the balance of information and economic security.”

“Journalism is an important element of information security,” he said. “Economic assistance to journalism should be considered by any state. This is a very important question, and I believe that at some point this issue should be considered by the United Nations.”

The World Media Summit has gathered an unprecedented number of participants – 300 top managers representing 213 mass media from 103 countries – presidents, general directors and editors-in-chief of such major news agencies and television and radio channels as the Associated Press, the BBC, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, Kyodo, Xinhua and MENA. The heads of nine international organizations, including UNESCO, and a delegation from the European Parliament, were invited to the forum.

Itar-Tass is the organizer of the two-day World Media Summit.


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