The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, recorded a special video message for the Society of Editors’ Media Freedom Conference
“Your ability to bring words to life… to tell the world the story… give life a chance to win,” he said in a powerful video address to delegates in London yesterday.
He thanked the hundreds of UK journalists who have reported from the country over the last year, saying that “now more than ever, journalism is needed to give a voice to Ukraine”.
Zelenskiy spoke passionately about spreading the truth: “I want the world to know about every such crime committed by the Russian occupiers on Ukrainian soil so that it does not pass without a trace.”
Broadcaster Clive Myrie, who was awarded an Outstanding Contribution to Journalism by the Society of Editors, also spoke about the importance of journalists speaking truth to power. “Press freedom is vital to the running of a free society,” he told delegates.
Elsewhere, the one-day event also covered a number of key issues, including regulation, diversity and inclusion, fake news and misinformation and funding.
There was optimism around the future of news, with publishers expecting to put more resource into podcasts and video this year.
ChatGPT was also a hot topic, with speakers discussing the benefits and implications of AI. The consensus was that it’s good to keep experimenting with new technology, but a human touch (and mind) is still imperative.
Closing out the day, the Editors’ Panel talked about the importance of “holding our key journalistic principles dear”, saying the stories behind the stories and trustworthy, quality news content are more important than ever.