6th Alex Media Forum discusses ‘Post-Truth Era’
CAIRO – 16 April 2018: Around 30 workshops at the sixth edition of Alex Media Forum (AMF) are tackling several topics, like artificial intelligence, how algorithms affect media industry, the effect of fake news on journalism economics, and the legal issues when it comes to fake news and freedom of information.
AMF kicked off in Alexandria on Sunday, gathering 200 participants from 13 Arab countries.
The event was launched with a welcoming note from Ahmed Esmat, founder and executive director of AMF, in which he revealed the slogan of this round as “Technology, Media and Post Truth”.
Esmat told Egypt Today that the forum, which started Sunday, is being held for three days at the Egyptian Japanese University for Science and Technology (EJUST), adding that this year’s edition will discuss the “Post-Truth Era”, the terminology of which is not commonly used among media users and journalists, who then call it fake news or information disorder.
Ahmed Esmat, founder and executive director of AMF – By Rehab Ismail
Regarding the social impact of AMF, Esmat said that widening the network of journalists throughout the Arab world is one of the main key performance indicators for AMF.
Seven hundred journalists joined the previous rounds, and nine previous AMF participants received regional and international awards for multicultural investigations and reports, Esmat mentioned.
AMF is supported by the Swedish Institute in Alexandria, the American University in Cairo (AUC) through its Kamal Adham Center, EJUST, Alex Agenda and Alexandria Governorate.
Participants of AMF – By Rehab Ismail
AMF keynote speech
The keynote speaker of the event is Hussein Amin, director of the Kamal Adham Center for Television and Digital Journalism and professor in the American University in Cairo’s Department of Journalism and Mass Communication at the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.
Amin defined fake news and how it affects media industry, and he tried to give some examples from different parts of the world and how they combat fake news.
Hussein Amin, director of the Kamal Adham Center for Television and Digital Journalism – By Rehab Ismail
A committee of independent media experts, including Khaled el-Barmawy and Ayman Salah, evaluated media usage for technology tools to enhance journalistic content, according to specific professional criteria.
Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper won the first award for the “Sharek” (Participate) platform for citizen journalism. The platform is used for collecting data from citizens and then fact-checking the data received.
The second award went to ONA Group’s “Masrawy” website for being a role model in Egypt for applying cross-media intensively in their stories.
The third award was shared between the “Akhbar mater” and “Da-bgd” (Is this true) news sites, as they have been working on fact-checking and verification for more than a year.
These awards are to spotlight the efforts of innovative media practices.
Cross-media…innovative multimedia stories
Alaa Al-Ghetrify, executive EIC for ONA Media Group (Masrawy Website) Holding AMF award.
Alaa Al-Ghetrify, executive EIC for ONA Media Group, said that he is proud of the AMF award.
“We use multimedia tools in all kinds of stories, hard and soft news. We work to engage all digital tools to make the journalistic content more attractive and impressive,” he stated.
AMF, which has been held since 2012, is being held this year from April 15 to 17. It aims to cover the latest topics related to media and technology, including all audio-visual and digital platforms.
The forum includes three main activities: workshops combating fake news in media production to develop workers’ capabilities, a forum for media education in universities, and a round-table for media educators teaching new media and technology, aiming to bridge the gap between media practitioners, educators and new technologies. The forum also provides grants for Arab journalists and outstanding students.
AMF was awarded the Arab Media Innovation Award by the Arab Thought Foundation in 2016, as well as an award from the Arab Academy for Science and Technology for their role in promoting media innovation at the university.