Riyadh Proclamation, Re-inventing the news agency in the 21st Century (Keeping Professionalism, Impartiality) And Objectivism.
During the period from 17-21 November 2013, the Fourth News Agencies World Congress was held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - attended by leaders of international news agencies, media offices and journalists.
Thirty speakers, each representing influential news agencies and news organizations from around the world, addressed the Congress to highlight the best practices news agencies should consider and follow when operating in the Twenty First Century.
The conference’s core thread ran throughout: all news agencies should gather and produce objective, unbiased news content in a professional manner, utilizing the latest communication methods to transmit this content around the world.
The Congress discussed ways in which members can enhance their capacity to work as major international news producers, methods that should be followed in order to buttress dissemination of unbiased news content, and the importance to always support the principles of press freedom.
Furthermore, the Congress highlighted how members should continue to support important developments in the media field, protect news agencies’ work from piracy, stress the necessity of recognizing diversity among organizations and ensure the continued protection of journalists working in dangerous regions.
During the various sessions it was emphasized that the media market is witnessing a shift towards digital television video, and, specifically, how a greater audience share is watching daily news programmes packaged as pictures and text. This is particularly the case regarding breaking news summaries. Closely linked and developing quickly, the market is also witnessing increased news consumption on mobile devices via websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
News agencies play a vital role in providing a respected and reliable real-time news service - 24 hours a day - utilizing their extensive skills and experience. They should adopt the principles of sharing information on good practices, while demonstrating their imagination in creating new products and services for the market. Importantly, news agencies should stick to the fundamental values of newsgathering, represented by an unbiased approach and consistent accuracy - standards which underpin a news agency’s credibility.
The Congress tackled many major issues, not least concerning news agency journalism. In its first session, it discussed the need for news agencies to adapt their capacity in order to create news services and products that can compete with other information sources.
The second session focused on ‘Social information media and other digital news platforms’ with addresses from representatives of Huffington Post, MSN, and Google. This session served to obtain more information about innovations and projects which these platforms create. They explained that in the coming years focus will be paid to extending the knowledge of their news consumers.
Some television executives expressed their opinion concerning news items they receive from news agencies. It was stressed that news content should be objective and unbiased, while delivery should be fast. In addition, some speakers highlighted that competition between television and a news wire does not exist and that they should in fact complement one another.
The fourth session discussed subjects which included highlighting the ways news agencies can remain at the forefront of news production and stressed impartiality as an important pillar of their work.
The fifth session tackled the important issues of how news agencies can bolster the future need of newspapers. A number of chief editors from various regions of the world discussed this topic and agreed that newspapers, however much they are self-reliant, will require material and news items disseminated by news agencies in all formats.
In conclusion, the News Agencies World Congress calls all information media in the world, in all their various structures, to follow and uphold their credibility via impartiality when transmitting news and information. This trusted ethos can only seek to develop and secure a better understanding of events taking place throughout the world.
73 news agencies, in addition to other information media, such as the press and television from all over the world, attended the congress, hosted by the Saudi Press Agency ( SPA).
We sincerely thank our host Kingdom of Saudi Arabia represented by Saudi Press Agency , and congratulate on the excellent organization and hospitality of this congress. Arab hospitality is world famous, and rightly so.
The Congress accepted in its final session the invitation of Azertag News Agency of Azrebeijan for its invitation to hold the fifth congress in Baku in 2016.