By HE Tariq Saeed Allay Director, Sharjah Government Media Bureau
Sharjah, UAE--The UAE has established a culture of innovation and thought making in all areas of life, believing in the importance of this culture as a key pillar at the institutional level. It helps develop education, economy, politics, medicine and many more. Innovation has become a way of life and a method of thinking. We see this clearly reflected in the UAE Innovation Month, held in February each year to celebrate and strengthen the culture of innovation.
We are now in an era where we compete with robots, which in a brief period of time, have become the best alternative to do our jobs with precision and professionalism. We cannot ignore this fact, which has become a reality we live everyday. Robotics have begun to monopolise a variety of fields, including medicine, engineering, petroleum and many more, leaving people on the margins of the career ladder. But what about journalism and media? Can robots replace journalists and media professionals?
The answer is yes! We live in the age of speed, innovation and creativity, and have to keep pace with the rapid changes around us. It is true that we are the ones who make and programme robots, and our creativity has led us to the invention of robots that have the ability to think for themselves, without human intervention. But machines have begun to compete with human intelligence. So what is the solution? The answer is simple. We have to innovate. We have to develop our careers in a way that robots cannot compete with. Hence, we, as journalists, need to practise ‘innovation journalism’.
Innovation journalism goes beyond regular journalistic practices, combining different sectors and fields, which helps bolster the role of innovation centres, not only in the UAE but in the world at large. Such centres play a pivotal role in inspiring journalists to come up with innovative content that meets the requirements of the present time. After all, we live in the grip of ideas and innovation, so we either cope by thinking out of the usual journalism box, or stand on the side of the race, waving the white flag.
Innovation journalism keeps up with the age of speed. Readers are now selective and do not have enough time to carefully follow the news and latest developments. Therefore, we ought to come up with alternatives that treat readers as a top priority. And because readers determine what they want to read, we need to provide a platform that places them at the core of their focus. We need to work hand in hand and intensify our efforts to break the press mold and establish new journalism schools that keep pace with changes in the world of media.