With crypto becoming more popular, mainstream outlets must be more educated on the space to ensure accurate reporting, according to a panel discussion during the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) Global event held at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
At the TDeFi Pavillion, Cointelegraph editor-in-chief Kristina Cornèr participated in a panel discussion titled “Crypto and Media: The View, The Perspective and Chaos.” Moderated by Maria Vovchok, ambassador at Blockchain Association of Ukraine and Finoverse, the panel included Laura Inamedinova, the founder of LKI Consulting; Triska Hamid, editorial director at Wamda and Walid Abou Zaki, the founder of Unlock Blockchain.
While the discussion brought up various points, one of the highlights of the panel was the question of how mainstream media could be more accurate and knowledgeable when tackling crypto-related reports. In response to the topic brought up by Vovchok, Hamid highlighted that there are definitely problems in terms of understanding the sector from mainstream outlets. Hamid explained that:
“We saw the last recession, financial journalists were struggling to understand problems that were happening and relaying that back to the masses. So, I think there’s a lack of understanding genuinely.”
Coming up with a potential solution, Abou Zaki suggested that it would be better to create new editors and journalists instead of transferring mainstream media correspondents into crypto. The executive proceeded to relate his experience with an editor he knew who just gave up on trying to understand the space when things started to get complex. “From what I see in this market, I believe the mainstream media and the editors in the space don't invest enough time to learn about this technology and this space,” he said.
Related: Mainstream media sentiment shifts in favor of Bitcoin amid fiat currency woes
Meanwhile, Inamedinova pointed out that while crypto-focused media may be focused on quality, some mainstream media outlets are focused on getting clicks, publishing headlines that are clickbait to get more traffic. According to the agency executive, some outlets only focus on the traffic and not on the quality. She explained that:
“It’s all about the quality, and you don’t want to lose your reputation. But for certain media outlets, definitely not those who are sitting on the panel, it’s all about the traffic.”
Commenting on the topic of headlines, Cornèr explained that when writing articles, one of the considerations is search engine optimization (SEO). The Cointelegraph editor-in-chief explained that covering news is a mix of trying to be faithful to the content and to get indexed by Google and other search engines.
She agreed that mainstream media sometimes prioritizes SEO-friendly headlines over accurate ones, but when it comes to crypto-focused media, a balance must be reached. “We can’t allow ourselves because we are here to promote real education for the community," she said.
Apart from headlines, Cornèr also gave her thoughts about influencers working with questionable projects and the responsibility of journalists when it comes to delivering the news. She explained:
“It’s incredibly important not to ever forget that we have an immense responsibility that influencers do not. They have their own risks in terms of their followers’ trust, but we have our responsibility to keep our integrity as journalists.”
Cornèr highlighted that this doesn’t only mean being on top of things, but rather about spending time, energy and resources to check everything and make sure that every piece of news delivered has the voices of all the parties involved.