Discover what happened at the GEN Summit 2019


Towards the VVV challenge: Voice, Visual Journalism and Verification

The Global Editors Network held the ninth GEN Summit from 13-15 June at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center. We brought together 650+ editors-in-chief, senior news executives, start up CEOs, journalists and academics to discuss ‘The VVV Challenge: Voice, Visual Journalism & Verification‘, and more.


Here are some key takeaways:


– The push for the voice technology is real and VSO (voice search optimization) could become the new SEO

– 5G is set to dramatically increase the frequency of and access to mobile reporting, but the fundamentals of reporting and the importance of specialisation remain

– The complicity of platforms is real, but the media industry might also have to do some soul-searching about how it contributes to the spread of disinformation.


AI can empower journalists through transcription accuracy and scalable interviews, which would collect comprehensive feedback on complex issues to help people ‘build accurate models of the world’. This is according to Krishna Bharat, the Founder of Google News. For John Micklethwait too ‘the need for AI in Bloomberg has less to do with saving money, and more to do with being able to cover far more companies than we could before, and to do it in a broader way’. Some words of caution from Lisa Gibbs, Director of News Partnerships at the Associated Press: ‘The technology allows us to do amazing things. Just because we can, does not mean we should. Anything we do must fit into the principles and values of the organization’.


Women’s underrepresentation in newsrooms is not just about gender inequality — it is also about quality journalism. This is why Ros Atkins, BBC Anchor, proposed to create the BBC 50:50 project, which is already yielding positive results. His lesson learned is that instead of trying to persuade people, one should simply work with those who want to make a change. For the prominent Indian investigative journalist Rana Ayyub, 50:50 is not yet possible in many parts of the world. As much as it is frustrating to deal with misogyny, “with time you learn that good work will always be rewarded by the audience”.


Journalists are not media literate by default. ‘We need to work out how journalists will transform large amounts of data into meaningful content and they need to be conscious about how this content will be used to as an educational tool for the audience’, says Nikos Panagiotou, Assistant Professor from the Aristotle University. Paul Quigley, CEO at NewsWhip also calls for the extra step – the media needs to not only verify, but also provide the much-needed context. Finally, media itself needs to facilitate media literacy for the public. ‘Transparency is very important for media literacy. Demystifying the process is core to quality journalism, we have to regain the lost trust’, explains Angie Pitt, Project Director of NewsWise at the Guardian Foundation.  Learn more about GEN’s prototypes for the Media Literacy Toolkit!


AR/VR will soon be massified and the media needs to take heed. Facebook, Google and Amazon are already investing in the technology, and journalists should be early birds and learn this technological language. According to Dan Pacheco, XR consultant and Professor at Syracuse University: “immersive journalism opens up doors to new opportunities that will give us further meaning and better context so we can understand some things better. It is very important for every journalist to learn how to create stories that are spatial. Spatial computing is the future’.




The 2019 Speakers

The GEN Summit brings to stage a host of diverse speakers, who are at the forefront of journalism, media, and technology, to share their ideas and challenge the future of news.

The GEN Summit brings to stage a host of diverse speakers, who are at the forefront of journalism, media, and technology, to share their ideas and challenge the future of news.

Revisit the Data Journalism Awards Ceremony 2019

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