Humanise data to make it relevant: CNN strategist

Rob Bradley, speaking at Arab Media Forum, says artificial intelligence should be used creatively to tailor digital experiences

Dubai: Keeping abreast of innovation across sectors and “humanising” data enable media to stay ahead of the curve, a senior CNN professional told the Arab Media Forum on Wednesday.

Speaking at the session on ‘Innovative Media Solutions’, Rob Bradley, vice-president of Digital Commercial Strategy at CNN, said though CNN is primarily a TV company, it has been quick to adopt new trends. It has over 60 platforms that have helped create a “revolution” in the way news is disseminated today.

“CNN is a storyteller, telling people’s stories and distributing them by adopting new strategies and ideas to connect with people better. Even brands are interested in telling their stories. As a media house, it is our responsibility to make their story relevant to our audience,” he added.

It is a complex and confusing world and it is important to humanise data, Bradley said. “We cannot change people’s behaviours. The best media can do is to embrace new methods and use varied platforms to reach out to them.”

Speaking about the latest trend of visual reporting, he said: “It is essential not to focus on immediate monetary gains when adopting new platforms. Studying innovations across other sectors and adapting them into our functions is one of the ways of staying at the forefront of innovation as the media industry is evolving at a rapid pace.”

Giving audiences a tailored digital experience with transparency is the key to avoiding problems, Bradley added. “Make artificial intelligence personal by combining it with videos and incorporating patterns derived from available data. This is being creative. Our goal should be to use data to enhance the human experience,” he said.

CNN pioneers in Geo Data, which helps tailor stories to target audiences in different geographical areas after detailed data analysis of those regions. Advertisements are constantly changed and revised to make them relevant to different audiences, Bradley added.

The two-day Arab Media Forum brought together more than 3,000 prominent regional and international media figures and thought leaders. Apart from high-profile local speakers, the event featured 50 speakers representing 20 countries from across the Arab region and the world.


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