Fiji Time: 1:06 PM on Saturday 29 November

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Digital optimism

Geraldine Panapasa In Melbourne, Australia
Friday, November 30, 2012

JOURNALISTS in the Pacific region need to encourage governments to ensure infrastructure is in place to facilitate digital transactions and digital information exchange, says News Limited chief executive officer Kim Williams.

Speaking to The Fiji Times after delivering a speech to members of the Melbourne Press Club in Australia on Wednesday, Mr Williams said media organisations in the Asia-Pacific region need to embrace changes in the profession brought on by the digital era.

"New technologies are a huge liberating force for information and information exchange," he said.

"If I was asked to sum up in a single word what the media profession needs more of today, my answer would be optimism.

"Our job in the media industry is ultimately about story-telling … something I think is now infecting too much talk about our industry is declinism - the loss of hope. The lack of will to participate in necessary change."

The luncheon which was held at Melbourne's Crown Casino and Entertainment Complex, included journalists and representatives from media outlets.

Mr Williams, who took over from News Limited's John Hartigan last year, believes journalism will change but there will always be a demand for it.

"Journalism of the future is going to be different but it is still recognisably going to be journalism and it is going to create jobs for those who approach it with a positive attitude and are prepared to make a place for themselves in it," he said.

"The digital world is massively increasing the world's demand for words and images that make sense of the world. The good news is journalists and media proprietors are in precisely this business." News Limited, the former owners of The Fiji Times, has been promoting subscription models for online newspapers such as The Australian and the Wall Street Journal.





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