Agencies lost role of gatekeepers, but increased role of fact-checkers: AFP CEO

Agencies lost role of gatekeepers, but increased role of fact-checkers: AFP CEO
Updated 27 March 2019

Agencies lost role of gatekeepers, but increased role of fact-checkers: AFP CEO

Agencies lost role of gatekeepers, but increased role of fact-checkers: AFP CEO
  • ‘We must admit that times have changed, most news agencies are suffering’
  • ‘Our mission is to fight against fake news and invest in quality journalism’

DUBAI: News agencies have lost their role as gatekeepers of news with the changing media landscape, but have increased their role as fact-checkers, Agence France-Press’s Chief Executive Officer Fabrice Fries said on the first day of Dubai’s Arab Media Forum.

“We must admit that times have changed, most news agencies are suffering, a global news agency is costly,” Fries said.

Fries was leading the talk under a discussion titled, “The Future of News Agencies” at the main hall of the forum.

“We live in a world of misinformation, but we still have the privilege of being a news agency, and the DNA of a news agency is verifying the information,” he said, adding “With news advancements, we have lost our privilege of exclusivity and ubiquity, but we retain reliability.”

“Our mission is to fight against fake news and invest in quality journalism,” he said.

Fries also spoke of the power of photography and video in journalism, referencing the image of New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wearing a hijab and hugging a Muslim after the terrorist attack that killed 50 Muslim worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch.

“That photo is more powerful than any story on it,” he said.

The Arab Media Forum kicked off in Dubai on Wednesday in a push to highlight the region’s media groups across the mediums of print, television and digital.

Organized by the Dubai Press Club, the forum hosts several panel discussions and talks in an attempt to further enhance the changing media landscape throughout the Middle East.