Media professionals should deliver balanced, quality content for diverse audiences in a digital world and work together to combat misinformation while facilitating global connectivity, the Global Media Congress in Abu Dhabi has been told.

The three-day event, under the theme “Shaping the future of the media industry”, opened on Tuesday and includes physical and virtual speakers looking at ways of fostering global connections and reinventing media brands.

Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahyan, the United Arab Emirates’ minister of tolerance and coexistence, told the congress that media professionals have the responsibility to provide balanced, quality content catering to the diverse needs of national and international audiences.

“The media industry is changing rapidly. We must agree that the most important thing in the media is the content created and not the technology used.”

For the media industry to succeed, collaboration and coordination in fighting misinformation and fabricated news are needed, he said, as are efforts to ensure wide access to the benefits of new ways of delivering information, he said.

Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, director-general of the Emirates News Agency, or WAM, and chairman of the congress’ organizing committee, said the event is playing “a decisive role in assembling media leaders to tackle the key issues faced by the industry”.

“In pooling the drive and ability (of) the diverse participants, the congress is driving the sector’s growth and evolution and highlighting its immense potential to create game-changing solutions and open up new business horizons.”

This year’s congress is larger than the first one, held last year, with a broader audience and more international participants, Al Rayssi told SealNews.

The congress also serves as a hub for learning, implementation and exchange on various topics, he said.

Madina Idrisova, head of the news service of the North Caucasus Institute, a branch of the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, said the issue of fabricated news is a significant problem globally.

“We need to learn how to operate in a new media world, because in the aftermath of the pandemic and other global challenges our world has transformed, and we must adapt to work effectively within it.”

The congress, organized by Capital Events of the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre Group and the WAM, brings together government officials, media representatives, businesspeople and academics from 172 countries and regions.

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