News Xchange 2023

  • 20 Jun 2023

The union is a media partner of the Dublin conference with speakers including Noel Curran, former director general of RTÉ and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

The News Xchange conference taking place on19 and 20 June in Ireland has attracted leading media figures as audience members engage with sessions including on artificial intelligence, safety of journalists and the Irish Frontline.

The conference’s opening speech was delivered by Noel Curran, former director general of RTÉ, who explored the need for improved diversity within newsrooms and the role of technology. Curran also condemned the unlawful detention of journalist Evan Gershkovich by Russian authorities, in his remarks on government interference and efforts to stifle reporting globally.

He said:

“A more polarized world has led to a more polarized journalism, more direct government interference, more threats to our journalism and awful personal abuse of our journalists.

“And the giant social platforms have become our very own Venus flytrap, tempting us in with access to wider audiences, dangling younger audiences before us, becoming more essential to us and yet always likely to close shut on our own business model development as soon as theirs takes a different path. The Facebook experience.”

On diversity within journalism, Curran commented "I visit newsrooms all around the continent every month and there is a sameness to what I see – in terms of background, race and age profile. As there is at the EBU to be honest."

He said:

"We all need to look at ourselves and ask do we have the right mix of staff to ensure we nourish our experience but also appeal to a generation who are growing up with very little knowledge of what we actually do."

“People matter. Chat GPT and its next iteration will become a part of all our lives – but our journalism will still require journalists. Most of all we need to value, protect and invest in them.”

The National Union of Journalists is a News Xchange media partner with Séamus Dooley, NUJ assistant general secretary, in attendance alongside NUJ members keen to engage with the conference's "Frontline of news" theme. 

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