Reporters should guard against fake news, Lebanon editor says

Nayla Tueni says journalists should think twice before publishing stories

Staff Report
15:03 April 4, 2018
Nayla Tueni

Dubai: ‘New world’ journalists should deal with news and not opinion, Nayla Tueni, editor-in-chief of Lebanon’s An-Nahar newspaper, told the Arab Media Forum in Dubai on Tuesday.

Talking on the topic of ‘Journalism: Old vs New’, she said “true knowledge” lies with the masses, and not with journalists; therefore, they should guard against spreading fake news and misinformation.

“Misinformation and disinformation travel fast. Trust should be created in what we [young journalists] do and observe transparency as a journalist. Think again what we do. A collection of facts should be based on a life experience,” Tueni added.

Journalists should ask themselves many questions before they publish their reports, she said. “The questions should be: ‘can it go wrong; can it get published; is it worth covering and spending your time?’ Think about stories that last. As it is, journalism is the first draft of history. If it’s inaccurate, we should fix it.”

She advised young journalists to be “systematic” and go for “complex” stories rather than “mundane” reports. “That requires understanding of world events, such as what’s happening in Saudi Arabia or Qatar,” Tueni said.

The forum’s 17th edition, which ended on Wednesday, brought together more than 3,000 prominent regional and international media figures and experts. Apart from high-profile local speakers, the two-day event featured 50 speakers representing 20 countries from across the Arab region and the world.

Under the theme ‘Impactful Media Trends’, prominent media personalities, writers, influencers and academicians shared their views on diverse issues, with the aim of forging a new vision for the media.

The forum was held under the patronage His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at Madinat Jumeirah.