Kenya Union of Journalists Secretary Mr Eric Oduor and UJU General Secretary Mr Stephen Ouma Bwire in Doha

Social media cannot replace traditional media, says experts

By Stephen Ouma Bwire in Doha, Qatar

The traditional journalism will continue to fulfill its mission despite the competition it faces from social media, participants of the fourth working group at the international conference titled “ Social Media : Challenges and Ways to promote Freedoms and Protect Activists, said.
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) Latin America Chairperson Ms Zuliana Lainez said that social media cannot replace traditional journalism, through it will trigger competition among journalists to provide good content to excel on social media. She said journalists should practice self – criticism, scrutinize their work and ensure that information and news they publish is correct in order to restore readers’ confidence in traditional journalism.
Ms Zuliana noted that the role of a journalist is not transfer of information as it is, but to provide authentic information from credible sources noting that social media has become a source of information for many journalists today. “The role of a journalist is not transfer of information as it is but to provide authentic information from credible sources,” she said.
Australian Chief Executive Officer at Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) Mr Paul Murphy said the use of social media as a platforms for spreading rumours and lies, especially by politicians and political parties must be thawrted. Ms Elena Perotti, the Paris – based Executive Director at Media Policy and Public Affairs section of the World Association of Newspapers and Newspaper Publishers spoke on the old and traditional media and the opportunities available.
She stressed that independent and free media is the only guarantee of freedom of expression, but hastened to add that the old and traditional media remains more reliable and credible. Ms Elena described the situation as not easy, especially in light of the reduced advertising income for traditional media, at a time when modern media in the West such as Google and Facebook, earn huge amounts through digital advertisement.
“There are growing concerns on the attacks and abuses against journalists by mainly politicians, “she said. The President National Writers Union in the United States of America addressed the issue of exploitation of the media, especially social media, in the American election campaigns and their extreme effects in attracting voters and directing public opinion.
Secretary General National Journalists Union of France Dominique Pradalic, who moderated the session, presented an approach between social media and traditional media, and the need for information transmitted by either side to be accurate, reliable and of quality■