There will always be need for journalists and journalism

On the 40th annivesary of Gulf News, the way ahead is about staying true to journalistic principles while innovating

Gulf News strives to give readers the best content in both print and digital forms.

Dubai
Nothing could be older than the daily news, nothing deader than yesterday’s newspaper.
— Edward Abbey

Forty years is a long time. Especially in journalism. For nothing is as stale as yesterday’s news. And a reporter is only as good as the last story. Keeping it fresh and relevant for 40 years is no mean task. Gulf News has cause to celebrate today.

The world has changed in the past 40 years. There was vinyl. There was spool. There were cassettes. There was the compact disc. There are MP3s. There is music streaming. 

The story of journalism is somewhat similar. From the tom toms in the villages to the town crier, to the weekly post, to the newspaper, to television, to this new world: The digital age — the art of story-telling has metamorphosed. Because as we evolve, the way we consume news has evolved. And hence the way news must be told must evolve too.

Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief and Executive Director of Publications of Gulf News, says the world of journalism has seen dramatic change. There was a time when everyone turned to the newspaper to catch up with the goings on in the world – it was sacrosanct. But then came television, the internet, social media and today we are entrenched in the digital world. 

“There is no denying that print media across the world is going through a very challenging time, with digital and social media dramatically changing the way we access and consume news. For young readers, print media is no longer the primary source for accessing information.  The challenges of our time demand that we change the way we think, narrate a story and also the way we present it to our consumers,” he says. 

“The good news is this period of change gives us opportunities to innovate and stay relevant. Consumers may value the speed and ease of social platforms, but they are still interested in reliable and relevant content. We have the right resources, values and experience to offer them unique, targeted content that appeals to them.

This can be in the form of analysis, value-added reporting, in-depth reviews and balanced, trustworthy views. Using multimedia and a multi-platform approach, we ensure that we present a good story in the most compelling manner. We always emphasise on making reading fun and interesting for our readers, whether it’s in design, presentation or narrative.”

 The good news is this period of change gives us opportunities to innovate and stay relevant. Consumers may value the speed and ease of social platforms, but they are still interested in reliable and relevant content.”

 – Abdul Hamid Ahmad | Editor-in-Chief 

Mohammed Almezel, Managing Editor of Gulf News, says: “As we turn 40 today, we must acknowledge all those who made Gulf News the leading media brand not only in the UAE but in our region; the shareholders, the founding team, our amazing staff that brings out a world-class newspaper every morning and, of course, our readers who have supported us in the past four decades and continue to be a part of Gulf News’ great journey. 

“Critical changes in the media took place very quickly, but the good thing about Gulf News is that we are always ahead of the competition. We led that change in say, 2006, 2007, and then in 2009 we integrated our newsroom so that the online and the print team became one.”

Media evolution

But when there is such a sea change, how does a media organisation evolve?  Almezel says: “We are evolving all the time. We cannot stop innovating; we are always the first in bringing the latest technology to the newsroom. We are definitely going to continue telling the story in different ways with the latest technology available. That said, technology is just a medium. What is very important to us is the quality of the story.”

And what of the future? Almezel says: “Print media will remain relevant because it serves a different purpose. People look at online news or social media for breaking news. However, the print edition is like a book that stays with you. It gives you the complete story with in-depth coverage and important insights. I don’t think digital or social media will ever be able to do that. The challenge is how the print media adapts to a changing world.”

 We are definitely going to continue telling the story in different ways with the latest technology available. That said, technology is just a medium. What is very important to us is the quality of the story.”

 – Mohammed Almezel | Managing Editor 

Despite the rapid rise of the internet, Zenith’s Media Consumption Forecast found that traditional media still accounted for 69 per cent of global media consumption in 2017. People are spending an average of 316 minutes a day with traditional media — such as printed newspapers and magazines, broadcast television and radio — this year, though it is down from the average of 364 minutes in 2010. 

Most businesses that operate in these media sectors have launched online versions of their operations, of which Gulf News has been a pioneer in the region. However, even though traditional media consumption has fallen around 13 per cent over the last eight years, traditional media has recaptured some of this lost time on the internet.

Everything is just a click away today. The mobile phone is an indispensable tool – be it for business, entertainment and news, which literally spreads like wildfire in the world of social media.  

According to Zenith’s Media Consumption Forecasts for 2019, mobile Internet use will account for 26 per cent of global media consumption next year, up from 19 per cent in 2016. People around the world will spend an average of 122 minutes a day accessing the mobile internet through browsers and apps, an amount that has grown from just 10 minutes a day since 2010.

Inscriptions on Roman columns more than 1,800 years ago to 280 characters for a tweet, news and journalism has changed.

Initially, printing and publishing was about news dissemination, ranging from propaganda for European royalty to gathering opinion from ‘colonies’. But, as the democratic process gathered momentum, so did the need for content that ensured the dissemination of facts, information and ultimately the truth.

According to a Stanford University project Journalism in the Digital Age, writer Thomas Carlyle promoted the term ‘fourth estate’ in the mid-1800s because he “saw the press as instrumental to the birth and growth of democracy … sparking revolution against tyranny”.

Journalism is fundamental to social structure and evolution. It has ensured, when done honestly, that the feared are held accountable by those who fear. The repressed are heard and justice isserved. That ethos has not changed over the centuries.

Where to from here, in an age when things change within a time span of months rather than years? Journalism will always be relevant – truth will never be obsolete. But it will mean more content and intensive multi-sensory experiences for readers. 

Edward Abbey’s observation may hold true today. Nothing could be older than the daily news, nothing deader than yesterday’s newspaper. But the future is a rainbow of opportunities. And Gulf News will continue to shine.

Hamid Ahmad concludes: “Let us remind ourselves when modern journalism started and why; how did the newspaper evolve? It started as a need — the human being’s need to express his views and exchange news. 

“Soon, the newspaper became a part of his life. It became a human being’s need to monitor the acts of the authorities and protect the interests of the people. Hence, journalism will always survive as it is a need — it will exist in any platform: print or digital. There will always be a need for journalists and journalism.”

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There will always be need for journalists and journalism

On the 40th annivesary of Gulf News, the way ahead is about staying true to journalistic principles while innovating

Gulf News strives to give readers the best content in both print and digital forms.

Dubai
Nothing could be older than the daily news, nothing deader than yesterday’s newspaper.
— Edward Abbey

Forty years is a long time. Especially in journalism. For nothing is as stale as yesterday’s news. And a reporter is only as good as the last story. Keeping it fresh and relevant for 40 years is no mean task. Gulf News has cause to celebrate today.

The world has changed in the past 40 years. There was vinyl. There was spool. There were cassettes. There was the compact disc. There are MP3s. There is music streaming. 

The story of journalism is somewhat similar. From the tom toms in the villages to the town crier, to the weekly post, to the newspaper, to television, to this new world: The digital age — the art of story-telling has metamorphosed. Because as we evolve, the way we consume news has evolved. And hence the way news must be told must evolve too.

Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Editor-in-Chief and Executive Director of Publications of Gulf News, says the world of journalism has seen dramatic change. There was a time when everyone turned to the newspaper to catch up with the goings on in the world – it was sacrosanct. But then came television, the internet, social media and today we are entrenched in the digital world. 

“There is no denying that print media across the world is going through a very challenging time, with digital and social media dramatically changing the way we access and consume news. For young readers, print media is no longer the primary source for accessing information.  The challenges of our time demand that we change the way we think, narrate a story and also the way we present it to our consumers,” he says. 

“The good news is this period of change gives us opportunities to innovate and stay relevant. Consumers may value the speed and ease of social platforms, but they are still interested in reliable and relevant content. We have the right resources, values and experience to offer them unique, targeted content that appeals to them.

This can be in the form of analysis, value-added reporting, in-depth reviews and balanced, trustworthy views. Using multimedia and a multi-platform approach, we ensure that we present a good story in the most compelling manner. We always emphasise on making reading fun and interesting for our readers, whether it’s in design, presentation or narrative.”

 The good news is this period of change gives us opportunities to innovate and stay relevant. Consumers may value the speed and ease of social platforms, but they are still interested in reliable and relevant content.”

 – Abdul Hamid Ahmad | Editor-in-Chief 

Mohammed Almezel, Managing Editor of Gulf News, says: “As we turn 40 today, we must acknowledge all those who made Gulf News the leading media brand not only in the UAE but in our region; the shareholders, the founding team, our amazing staff that brings out a world-class newspaper every morning and, of course, our readers who have supported us in the past four decades and continue to be a part of Gulf News’ great journey. 

“Critical changes in the media took place very quickly, but the good thing about Gulf News is that we are always ahead of the competition. We led that change in say, 2006, 2007, and then in 2009 we integrated our newsroom so that the online and the print team became one.”

Media evolution

But when there is such a sea change, how does a media organisation evolve?  Almezel says: “We are evolving all the time. We cannot stop innovating; we are always the first in bringing the latest technology to the newsroom. We are definitely going to continue telling the story in different ways with the latest technology available. That said, technology is just a medium. What is very important to us is the quality of the story.”

And what of the future? Almezel says: “Print media will remain relevant because it serves a different purpose. People look at online news or social media for breaking news. However, the print edition is like a book that stays with you. It gives you the complete story with in-depth coverage and important insights. I don’t think digital or social media will ever be able to do that. The challenge is how the print media adapts to a changing world.”

 We are definitely going to continue telling the story in different ways with the latest technology available. That said, technology is just a medium. What is very important to us is the quality of the story.”

 – Mohammed Almezel | Managing Editor 

Despite the rapid rise of the internet, Zenith’s Media Consumption Forecast found that traditional media still accounted for 69 per cent of global media consumption in 2017. People are spending an average of 316 minutes a day with traditional media — such as printed newspapers and magazines, broadcast television and radio — this year, though it is down from the average of 364 minutes in 2010. 

Most businesses that operate in these media sectors have launched online versions of their operations, of which Gulf News has been a pioneer in the region. However, even though traditional media consumption has fallen around 13 per cent over the last eight years, traditional media has recaptured some of this lost time on the internet.

Everything is just a click away today. The mobile phone is an indispensable tool – be it for business, entertainment and news, which literally spreads like wildfire in the world of social media.  

According to Zenith’s Media Consumption Forecasts for 2019, mobile Internet use will account for 26 per cent of global media consumption next year, up from 19 per cent in 2016. People around the world will spend an average of 122 minutes a day accessing the mobile internet through browsers and apps, an amount that has grown from just 10 minutes a day since 2010.

Inscriptions on Roman columns more than 1,800 years ago to 280 characters for a tweet, news and journalism has changed.

Initially, printing and publishing was about news dissemination, ranging from propaganda for European royalty to gathering opinion from ‘colonies’. But, as the democratic process gathered momentum, so did the need for content that ensured the dissemination of facts, information and ultimately the truth.

According to a Stanford University project Journalism in the Digital Age, writer Thomas Carlyle promoted the term ‘fourth estate’ in the mid-1800s because he “saw the press as instrumental to the birth and growth of democracy … sparking revolution against tyranny”.

Journalism is fundamental to social structure and evolution. It has ensured, when done honestly, that the feared are held accountable by those who fear. The repressed are heard and justice isserved. That ethos has not changed over the centuries.

Where to from here, in an age when things change within a time span of months rather than years? Journalism will always be relevant – truth will never be obsolete. But it will mean more content and intensive multi-sensory experiences for readers. 

Edward Abbey’s observation may hold true today. Nothing could be older than the daily news, nothing deader than yesterday’s newspaper. But the future is a rainbow of opportunities. And Gulf News will continue to shine.

Hamid Ahmad concludes: “Let us remind ourselves when modern journalism started and why; how did the newspaper evolve? It started as a need — the human being’s need to express his views and exchange news. 

“Soon, the newspaper became a part of his life. It became a human being’s need to monitor the acts of the authorities and protect the interests of the people. Hence, journalism will always survive as it is a need — it will exist in any platform: print or digital. There will always be a need for journalists and journalism.”

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