GUANGZHOU, Dec. 3 (Xinhua) -- World media leaders gathered in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on Sunday to build consensus in addressing common challenges and boosting global confidence.
The 5th World Media Summit (WMS) released a joint statement during an opening ceremony and plenary session at its main venue in the Nansha District of Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province.
The statement noted that the world is undergoing accelerated changes unseen in a century, and that uncertainties and unforeseen factors are on the rise. It called on global media to build a bridge of communication to answer the questions posed by the world, by the times and by history.
The summit attracted more than 450 representatives of nearly 200 institutions from over 100 countries and regions, including media outlets, think tanks and international organizations.
Focusing on the summit's theme of "Boosting Global Confidence, Promoting Media Development," attendees took part in extensive discussions to contribute media power to the construction of a brighter future.
Fu Hua, executive chairman of the World Media Summit and president of Xinhua News Agency, addresses the opening ceremony of the 5th World Media Summit in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, Dec. 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Liu Bin)
Confidence is a key word for global media leaders. Fu Hua, president of Xinhua News Agency, said in a keynote speech at the opening ceremony that confidence is more valuable than gold when facing difficulties.
"History development, civilization prosperity and human progress require the media to shoulder the responsibilities of fostering unity and boosting confidence," Fu said.
He called on the attendees to use media to convey positive energy, amplify voices that promote the development of human society, and encourage countries to join hands in addressing the challenges facing humanity.
Iqbal Surve, chairman of Independent Media and the African News Agency, said that the media should help people boost confidence to build a better world.
Delegates attend the opening ceremony of the 5th World Media Summit in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, Dec. 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Deng Hua)
ADHERING TO TRUTH
Misinformation was a hotly debated issue at the summit. Fu said that in the era of the internet, people obtain information from unprecedentedly convenient and diverse channels, but they also face the assault of various types of false information.
"Truthfulness is the lifeblood of news," Fu said, underlining the importance of adhering to objectivity and truth to enhance the credibility of the media.
"The media should consider facts as the source of news, reflect the objective truth, oppose false news, and ensure that reporting is accurate, fair, authoritative and trustworthy," Fu said.
Serik Korzhumbayev, editor-in-chief of Delovoy Kazakhstan newspaper, also noted the grave challenges that fake news poses to the media industry. He called on media outlets to shoulder their responsibilities in verifying facts and disseminating credible information.
Delegates talk during the opening ceremony of the 5th World Media Summit in Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, Dec. 3, 2023. (Xinhua/Liang Xu)
Media leaders attending the summit acknowledged the challenges posed by new technologies, and discussed the importance of seizing the opportunities of sci-tech transformations by better harnessing game-changing innovations such as AI.
Calling on his peers to strengthen research into and the application of technologies such as 5G, AI, and cloud computing, Fu said that media should "embed new technology into the entire process of news communication, improve production efficiency, enrich product forms, and release more news reports that are popular and enjoyable to their audiences."
If AI tools are used correctly, they can help media outlets increase productivity, freeing up resources for more on-the-ground reporting, said Michael Mainville, member of the AFP Executive Committee and AFP Asia-Pacific regional director.
"We also need to work together, as an industry, to adopt the use of AI in a responsible way that protects the integrity of news," Mainville said.
To address common challenges, media outlets across the globe need to strengthen exchanges and collaboration, the attendees agreed.
Fu noted that the WMS serves as an important platform for media communication and cooperation between countries, and said efforts should be made to improve this multilateral mechanism and utilize it to its fullest extent, tap into the potential for cooperation, innovate collaboration models, and expand cooperation channels.
Xinhua on Saturday signed agreements with foreign media outlets and institutions to deepen cooperation in areas such as news exchanges, personnel exchanges and visits, and integrated media development.
Xinhua will enhance communication and consultation processes with media organizations from various countries, and work with these organizations to construct and utilize the summit mechanism effectively, Fu said.
(Reporting by Tian Jianchuan, Huo Siying, Li Jiale, Huang Guobao, Pan Yujie, Yang Zhixiang, Zhang Li, Zhang Zhihuan; video reporter: Zheng Xin, Deng Bingxue, Wang Ruiping, Ma Zhuoyan, Zhou Ying, Liu Chunhui, Wang Hongda, Wang Gejun, Hao Xiaojiang, Fang Kuan, Wu Yao; video editor: Hui Peipei, Zhang Yucheng, Zhang Nan, Lin Lin.) ■