Media need to humanise data to connect better, says senior CNN official

DUBAI, 4th April, 2018 (WAM) — In an era of rapid technological evolution, keeping abreast of innovation across sectors and humanising data are the key factors that enable media to stay ahead of the curve, according to a senior CNN professional at the Arab Media Forum, AMF, on Wednesday.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, from 3rd-4th April 2018, the 17th edition of AMF discussed a range of media industry issues under the theme ‘Impactful Media Trends’.

Speaking at the session on ‘Innovative Media Solutions’, Rob Bradley, Vice-President, Digital Commercial Strategy at CNN, said, though CNN is primarily a TV company, it has been quick to adopt new trends, with 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,” he said. “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,” he explained.

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. “Make Artificial Intelligence personal by combining it with videos and incorporating patterns derived from available data. This is being creative,” said Bradley. “Our goal should be to use data to enhance the human experience,” he added.

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, he said.

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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