Deputy Director General of the Vietnam News Agency Le Quoc Minh (L) talks to leaders of IRNA of Iran on the sidelines of the summit in St. Petersburg (Photo: VNA)

Moscow (VNA) - Deputy Director General of the Vietnam News Agency (VNA) Le Quoc Minh attended an international summit of news agencies themed “Future of Journalism in Times of New Challenges” held within the framework of the 22nd International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg on May 24.

The event, sponsored by Russia’s TASS news agency, was attended by representatives from nearly 30 major news outlets around the world, including Russia Today, AP of the United States, ANSA of Italy, AFP of France, Kyodo News of Japan, Xinhua of China, EFE of Spain, PA of the United Kingdom, IRNA of Iran and Prensa Latina of Cuba.

Speaking at the summit, TASS Director General Sergei Mikhailov stressed there is a need to develop verification mechanisms to counter fake news.

"It is no news that media outlets have been using social media as sources of information, it is also no news that social media users learn about various events, particularly incidents, before the media do," he said. "It is impossible and wrong to ignore this, so professional media outlets should learn to make the most of it," Mikhailov added.

He highlighted the need to create tools for communicating with users in order to employ them "as a network of civic journalists, active in various parts of the world, and at the same time resolve the verification issue."

Hiroki Sugita, Executive Director at Kyodo News, proposed building an information authentication system, which, he said, needs joint efforts from news outlets.

Ian Phillips from AP, stated that social network users have gained access to different sources of information. Therefore, readers want to receive information from authenticated sources of news, and pay much attention to “data verification”.

AP is recruiting new employees in charge of data verification, he shared.

Robotisation in journalism was also discussed by participants.

TASS Director General Sergei Mikhailov said there is no need to be afraid of content production automation.

According to him, if artificial intelligence can process 80 percent of information content in future, journalists will have more time to work with sources of information or find new topics, thus helping increase the quality of information.

Agreeing, Director General of the Armenia news agency Armenpress Aram Ananyan said mass media and news agencies are pioneers in developing technologies in artificial intelligence to produce news.

He stressed the need for mass media and news agencies to remember their mission to tell the truth.-VNA