Club Lunch: The Role of a Global News Agency In The Era of Big Tech And Fake News
The Role of a Global News Agency
In The Era of Big Tech And Fake News
The world’s oldest news agency AFP is making innovation central to its editorial and business strategies as Big Tech and fake news combined with falling trust in traditional media have upended the news industry.
Mr Fries discussed how the agency is responding to the multiple challenges thrown up by radical change in the media market, the proliferation of disinformation and concerted attacks on journalistic integrity. This includes changes in editorial priorities towards more visual production and more transparency in its procedures; developing technical and fact-checking partnerships, including with Facebook; strengthening ties with schools and universities, including in Hong Kong; and searching for new online markets at a time when the news media’s traditional economic model has been broken by the major technology players.
Fabrice Fries, 58, was appointed AFP Chairman in April 2018. He started his career as a civil servant at the French Ministry of Finance and at the European Commission. He joined the private sector in 1995 and has since held various operational positions in the media groups Havas, Vivendi and Publicis. He is a graduate of École Normale Superieure and the École Nationale d’Administration. AFP is an international news agency with more than 2,000 staff worldwide working in English, French, Spanish, Germany, Arabic and Portuguese. It began as Havas news agency in 1835 and was relaunched as Agence France-Presse at the end of World War II. Its global network includes a bureau in Pyongyang, which opened in September 2016.