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Smart phones made journalism easy: experts

KUWAIT: Smart phones, though too small and quite easy to carry and use, have created new realties in the information and media realms at expense of old-time heavy audio-visual equipment, leading experts affirm. The smart phone has become man’s constant companion; used for multiple purposes including journalism and media, said Glen Mulcahy of the international Thomson Foundation, in a statement at a forum, organized by the supreme committee of Sheikh Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah Journalism Excellence Award.

These mobile phones can be used for recording, photographing, writing and editing thus making journalists’ tasks much easier compared to the past times when they used costly and heavy equipment to cover events and conduct interviews, he indicated at the forum, held at Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center. Caroline Faraj, chief editor of the CNN Arabic website, said spread of the mobile phones has prompted journalists to be much more careful in authenticating news because of the fast digital publicity. A CNN study, she says, has revealed that Arab readers focus on the news item headline, the photo and the video, unlike those in Europe who read several paragraphs in a single item.

Ghassan Hajjar, Editorial Manager at Annahar daily newspaper, affirmed that number of newspapers’ readers is dramatically dropping while the number of those who read the news on the internet is increasing. Saad Al-Ali, the Deputy General Director for the Editorial Department at Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), urged journalists to embrace the emerging social media digital world. Al-Ali has indicated that academies and colleges have not been abreast of the development in the digital education and information technology.

Dr Ahmad Al-Sherif from Kuwait University concurred with Al-Ali that the academic curricula “need to be fundamentally updated.” Ayman Al Ali, head of the supreme commission, also concurred with such an approach and called for training educators to upgrade their skills and knowledge of the emerging communication and media means. – KUNA

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