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Executives of leading media flock to Moscow for World Media Summit

The summit organized by the Russian Itar-Tass news agency, opens on Thursday and is entitled Global Media: Challenges of the 21st Century

MOSCOW, July 4 (Itar-Tass) — Executives of world’s leading mass media outlets are arriving in Moscow for the World Media Summit, organized by the Russian Itar-Tass news agency.

The summit opens on Thursday and is entitled Global Media: Challenges of the 21st Century. Over 300 top managers presenting 213 media outlets from 102 countries arrive to discuss pressing problems facing the media society. They include the leaders of such major news agencies, TV and radio channels as Associated Press, BBC, Reuters, NBC, Al Jazeera, Kyodo, Xinhua and MENA.

Leaders of nine international organizations, including UNESCO, as well as a delegation of the European Parliament have been invited. U.N. Secretary General Ban ki-Moon is expected to make a video address to the summit.

BBC World Service Director Peter Horrocks expressed hope for an exhaustive and sincere exchange of opinions at the summit on ways to solve difficult and diverse problems facing mass media, and also hoped consensus will be reached on such issues as the importance of media freedom in fight against censorship.

AP Senior Managing Editor and Vice President John Daniszewski called the summit a very important event for the journalist society. He expressed hope that priority attention at the forum will be paid to freedom of the press, to transparent activity of governments and their accountability to the society as well as to the developing Internet social networks.

Xinhua News Agency President Li Congjun expects that the summit will discuss factors and challenges facing world media outlets as well as ways to make use of the offered opportunities and face the challenges.

According to Kyodo News Agency President Satoshi Ishikawa, it is very important that representatives of world’s leading media outlets will get together and will be able to exchange opinions. “I hope I will have a sincere dialogue with participants. I am confident that the summit will be a success,” he stressed.

Yonhap Director General Park Jung-chan stated that “the quickly changing situation in the sphere of mass media and the emergence of new technologies become a two-edge sword for journalists”. In this connection, he would like the summit to discuss the role of social media.

The president of the Italian AGI news agency, Daniela Paola Viglione, drew attention to the fact that particularly interesting for reporters at the moment are such issues as the role of the Internet in the current media environment, the role of social networks, the dispute on whether they can be considered as full-value sources of information or they must be treated as means of mass manipulation.

According to the editor-in-chief of the Austrian news agency APA, Michael Lang, the global media community undergoes a critical time when new technologies, new forms of communication and new economic challenges make it necessary to reconsider and determine anew the role of mass media in the present-day world.

The head and editor-in-chief of the Egyptian Middle East News Agency (MENA), Adel Abdul Aziz, intends to discuss at the summit “technical progress without borders, which media outlets must constantly keep pace with”. He also expressed interest in the conversation on the situation in the sphere of mass media in Egypt after the revolution of January 25.

Director General of Ukraine’s Ukrinform news agency Alexander Detsik, marked the importance of discussing new forms of cooperation between mass media, state and business. “Questions to these challenges are particularly pressing against the background of the reduction of the market of print media and the shaping of alternative floors for conveying information”.