NEW information technology is posing unprecedented challenges to the traditional media as people today anywhere in the world can have access to news and information from wherever they want and can themselves become content providers, Confederation of Asean Journalists’ (CAJ) President Thepchai Yong said yesterday.
The world has changed to the era of digital media, in which people can access news and information whenever they desire. The rise of digital media has enabled everyone to play the role of journalists, he said.
Thepchai was speaking in his welcome statement at the CAJ’s 19th General Assembly meeting, held in Bangkok. Thepchai yesterday took over the CAJ presidency from Nguyen Thuan Huu, president of the Vietnam Journalists Association.
He will hold the position for two years.Thepchai said the CAJ meeting will emphasise how to tackle so-called “fake news” to ensure the public receives correct and trustworthy information.In its Plan of Action issued yesterday, the Confederation of Thailand Journalists reported that it would work with Thailand’s On-line News Providers Association to organise a regional forum, tentatively scheduled for July, on the issue of “fake news”.
The forum will also discuss the role of professional media in dealing with the challenge. Each CAJ member country will be invited to send a representative to attend the forum.The meeting also welcomed the Club of Cambodian Journalists as member of the CAJ, joining an organisation founded 42 years ago. Representatives from the Myanmar Journalists Association were also attending the meeting as observers.
“So we can say that the spirit of Asean is in full display at the meeting,” Thepchai told the audience.Thailand’s Industry Minister Uttama Savanayan told those at the opening ceremony that people are now confronted with powerful change, particularly unstoppable technological advances which are often innovative and sometimes disruptive.
Discussing the digital era in his keynote speech, Uttama said digital and infrastructure connectivity is promoting fundamental changes in the ways people communicate, businesses interact and public service is being delivered, as well as the role and nature of the media industry.Following the rapid growth of connectivity via digital platforms, there is now a significant upsurge of collaboration in various forms and arenas.“These days, most success stories come when people collaborate through sharing ideas and information to combine expertise that spurs innovation, creation and new chances,” Uttama said.
He also told the audience of the Thai government’s launch of “Thailand 4.0”, which he described as a holistic roadmap to guide the transformation of the Thai economy towards a value-based, innovation-driven economy.Talking about the media’s challenges, Uttama said that the public itself is evolving from mere passive receivers of content to become active creators, directors and broadcasters of content themselves.