With the annual South by Southwest® (SXSW) festival—which celebrates the convergence of the interactive, film and music industries—fast approaching, the public now has the opportunity to vote for the sessions they’d like to hear. Here are six Reuters-led sessions, on everything from misinformation to diversity and inclusion to media transformation and more, to vote for ahead of the March event:
Media transformation and leadership in the COVID era
The impact of the pandemic has been felt in nearly every industry on earth, from retail to travel, healthcare to mining. The media industry too has come under increasing pressure, while at the same time being relied on to deliver the news that is critical to billions of people worldwide. Executives from some of the most trusted and influential news organizations, including Reuters President Michael Friedenberg, Guardian Media Group’s Chief Executive Annette Thomas and Verizon Media’s Chief Executive Officer Guru Gowrappan, will discuss the impact of COVID on the industry, business transformation during a pandemic, the future of media and leading through uncertain times.
Tame the infodemic? Combat COVID-19 misinformation
As the coronavirus pandemic rapidly grew, so did the barrage of misinformation. Featuring Reuters Head of UGC Newsgathering Hazel Baker, Nick Cohen, Reuters Global Director of Product, Core News Services and Megan Marelli of Meedan, this session explores the relationship between journalistic fact-checking and data science/AI techniques in tackling the so-called ‘infodemic’. Can we proactively anticipate key strands of misinformation? What approaches are effective in delivering reliable, factual information to the public? And how can the concerns of communities be adequately addressed?
How news keeps us connected in the COVID era
News consumption in the U.S. has increased more than 200% during the pandemic, according to Nielsen, with people flocking online to understand the latest on COVID-19. As social distancing has led to increasing feelings of isolation and disconnection, news has helped to bring people closer together, albeit virtually. Journalists have gone where no one else is able to—inside hospitals overwhelmed with coronavirus cases, onto the streets of cities in lock-down and into the homes of everyday people living through the pandemic—to bring to life the single biggest news event of our lifetimes. Reuters Global Managing Editor Alessandra Galloni and The New York Times’ Deputy Managing Editor Rebecca Blumentstein will discuss how news connects us, how fearless journalists have created a lifeline to the world in these unprecedented times and how journalism could be changed.
Documenting the Black Lives Matter protests
The death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis sparked national outrage and a movement around the world. Mass demonstrations and marches against systemic racism and racial inequalities became more prevalent among communities and people in the millions took to the streets to galvanize for societal change. As history was being made with the world under lockdown, photojournalists were on the ground to bear witness, quickly shifting from a news agenda focused on the pandemic to document the protests. This session explores the first-hand experiences of photojournalists including Reuters Senior Photographers Carlos Barria and Leah Millis and Photojournalist Brandon Bell as they documented Black Lives Matter protests in communities worldwide.
Diversity: Going beyond the mission statement
The death of George Floyd in May 2020 and the sparking of global Black Lives Matter protests saw a clamour to focus on diversity and inclusion from multinationals, corporations and the media industry on a scale never seen before. How much of this was merely a PR exercise because commercial interests were potentially at stake? Will support wane once the topic stops trending and disappears from the news cycle? What are companies doing in real terms now to combat systemic racism? Are they willing to take long term action, not “woke washing”? Are companies actually willing to look beneath the surface to show that Black lives really do matter? Prominent journalists and commentators including Reuters Newsroom Diversity Editor Joyce Adeluwoye-Adams discuss whether producing a well-crafted mission statement goes anywhere near enough when it comes to true equality.
The undeniability of visual evidence
In an age where disinformation and misinformation have become more prevalent, what to believe and what is real? With attempts to deliberately undermine real events ever more commonplace, the responsibility of journalists to capture the full narrative is paramount. Presenting facts in visual form could be the only way to convince citizens that events are really happening. In 2020, stories such as COVID hospitalisations and make-shift morgues, alongside protests in countries where authorities seek to ban access and a mistrust of the media has been sewn by governments and online tech giants – all are more likely to have impact and be believed if they are witnessed and visually captured. Reuters Photojournalist Callaghan O’Hare will discuss how providing visual evidence makes authenticity undeniable.
Cast your vote between now and November 20, 2021.
[Reuters PR blog post]
Deepal . Patadia @ tr.com