Media conference centers on ‘disinformation’, digitalization


Knight Center for Journalism in Americas Founding Director Rosental Alves discussing “How Will Technologies Change Journalism?” at the KPF Journalism Conference held October 30-31 in Seoul, South Korea. (photo by Frances Mae Macapagat)

SEOUL, South Korea (PIA) – About 400 media practitioners from six countries gathered in this city for the 2018 KPF Journalism Conference with sessions centering on the effects of disinformation and  digitalization in journalism and how the media could cope up.

American Press Institute Executive Director Thomas Rosenstiel, one of the invited speakers in the conference, stressed that truth and accuracy still matters and should remain the eternal principle of journalism.

With digitalization, most people especially the young market has shifted to mobile technology as source of information. The internet, he said, has offered a wide array of information that may not be true or accurate. The audience then finds it hard to distinguish which is news from mere opinion.

“ Fake news has no method, no verification. Thus, to counter fake news is to provide the audience the proof of method and of process. The audience demands to show them the how and the why. This is when journalists can help their users become more discerning. The reporting and evidence becomes the key and not the beautiful narrative.”, he said.

Rosenstiel admitted that as a human being, the journalist has biases which makes the story he or she writes becomes subjective. However, the journalistic method should be objective and transparent because the journalist never can be. This puts premium on the transparency of the process.

Journalists were then challenged to build their news differently by showing everything and not hiding any ingredients.

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“ Visual storytelling can be more persuasive. Also, our audience deserves to get clear labels of our products. Meaning, if we are writing an opinion or analysis then let them know it is one. Usually, the audience does not distinguish news from an analysis. That’s why we let them know thru better labels.

Lucy Kueng, Google Senior Visiting Research Fellow of the Reuters Institute in the University of Oxford, presented her study showing how technology, business , and journalism get to merge.

She said in the social media platform, digital storytelling with the use of data and technology will offer a more interesting product to the audience.

“ There may be cultural differences between journalism, technology, and business but there are overlaps too. This is when we build on the similarities of these cultures. One is on the clarity of thoughts or language, commitment of both to their respective craft, and high intrinsic motivation,” Kueng said.

Leaders of these journalism companies are then challenged to build information channels to ensure information can flow up.

The 2018 KPF Journalism Conference is now on its 2nd year with its aim of gathering the best experts in the field of journalism, technology, and business to better media literacy not just in South Korea but in all other countries as well. (PIA XI/FGM) 

Source: PIA Feed