Saudi minister congratulates media award winners

RIYADH: The International Sports Media and Journalism seminar, which aims to develop the next generation of sports journalists in the Kingdom, was launched on Sunday.

The event is taking place at the Intercontinental Hotel in Riyadh and will run until Jan. 9. 

In his opening speech, Prince Fahd bin Jalawi bin Abdulaziz, vice president of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee and president of the Saudi Olympic Academy, welcomed the international lecturers and shared his hopes for the seminar.

“Through the fruitful cooperation between the Olympic Academy, the Paralympic Olympic Committee, the Saudi Sports Media Federation and a proud partnership with the International Olympic Academy, this seminar comes to address sports media in an academic and systematic manner,” he said. “(It has) the aim of making media work compatible with the comprehensive sports renaissance that our country is enjoying under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and with the vision of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, and with the follow-up and supervision of His Royal Highness Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, minister of sports.” 

The three-day seminar will offer a variety of panel discussions aimed at shedding light on the sports media and journalism program and its objectives, including skills development, ethical reporting, industry insights, technological integration and networking. 

Following Prince Fahd’s opening remarks, Gianni Merlo, the president of Association International Sports Press Association took to the podium to deliver a speech on ethics in sports journalism, from local to international communication, and briefly discussed the emerging prevalence of artificial intelligence. 

During his lecture, Merlo highlighted some of the modern-day issues related to AI, such as accuracy, and called for international regulations around its use. 

“Artificial intelligence is an open field, but the most important thing is that everybody in every country (comes to an understanding) that the problem is very delicate, it is very important and we have to solve it as quickly as possible. If everyone comes to an agreement we can find a solution,” he said. 

Focusing on the benefits and downsides of artificial intelligence, Merlo added: “We have to use AI while trying to avoid the loss of jobs, and this is a social problem — we have to find the balance between the two things.” 

The seminar also welcomed a variety of speakers including Emilio Fernandez, founder and member of the scientific commissions of the International Olympic Academy, as well as Jura Ozmec, the editor-in-chief at Sportska Televizija, to discuss media in our society. 

During one of final lectures of the first day, Fernandez further discussed social media and artificial intelligence in sports journalism. 

The seminar was attended by a number of Saudi sports journalists, including seasoned reporters and new graduates aspiring to pursue a career in the industry.

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