ENEX General Assembly Dubai 2017

For those of you who missed it, or those who want to be reminded, this is a summary (helped by some pictures and links) of our very successful annual General Assembly in Dubai.

First General Assembly in the Middle East

This was the first time ENEX has held its annual General Assembly in Dubai hosted by one of the news cooperative’s newest partners, Al Arabiya. ENEX has expanded rapidly in the Middle East in the last two years with three partners from the region joining and another on trial. The Middle East theme was threaded through the event with Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates delivering a keynote speech on the opening afternoon.

A panel discussion focused on the future of Iraq and Syria now Islamic State forces have been removed from key cities. Al Arabiya and its sister channel, Al Haddath, are covering the conflict in detail and their content is a very valuable component to the ENEX content offer.

Check out our video update of some of our latest news:

Rudaw could not attend due to travel restrictions

Unfortunately, Rudaw, our ENEX partner from the Kurdish Autonomous Region, could not attend because of the travel restrictions placed on Erbil Airport following the Kurdish referendum on autonomy. Both Al Arabiya and Rudaw have lost staff members in reporting the conflicts in the region with Rudaw’s Presenter Shifa Gardi losing her life reporting on the battle for Mosul earlier in the year.   Timed with the conference, Rudaw has announced that it will now be supplying pictures to ENEX clean and without their logo.

Facebook under attack about Fake News

The event’s most combative session came as Facebook’s Fares Akkad and Head of News Partnerships, Nick Wrenn outlined their various new initiatives to help commercial television stations monetize their content on the Facebook platform.  Many felt it was not enough and Facebook also came under attack for not doing more to more aggressively combat fake news.  Nevertheless their engagement with commercial broadcasters was much appreciated.

Rafael Wober delivered most engaging session on North Korea

The most engaging session of the conference was delivered by Rafael Wober, Senior Producer for Associated Press Television in Pyongyang. Rafael gave delegates a unique and fascinating view of daily life in North Korea behind the usual images of missile launches and goose-stepping military parades.

We also heard from digital strategist Evangelos Papathanassiou on the future of digital platforms and delivery and Clifton Van Der Linden, CEO of Vox Pop Labs on how to use large scale data research to more accurately predict elections.

ENEX also formally signed a partnership agreement with the UAE’s national news agency – WAM during the event. Abdullah Abulkareem, Media Coverage Director, welcomed the agreement which will see all relevant news material generated from the UAE published onto the ENEX platform. This is particularly significant as the politics of the Gulf has become very topical with regard to relations with Qatar and Iran.

How to make best digital content for social media platforms ?

The last session focused again on the digital theme and examined how to make the best digital content for social media platforms.  The session, chaired by Mark Evans ENEX Head of News, featured contributions from Jo Schmaltz, Wochit’s VP Global Content Partnerships, Angelos Frangopoulos, CEO of Sky News Australia and Philipp Trunk, RTL InfoNetwork’s Head of Digital Content.

The Assembly hosted more than 100 delegates. ENEX’s Managing Director, Adrian Wells, said, ‘’Each year ENEX becomes a bigger global news provider with its reach constantly expanding into new territories and new services.’’  Turki Aldakhil, General Manager of Al Arabiya said, ‘’Al Arabiya and its sister channel Al Haddath have become the most influential news channels in the Arab world and we are honoured to host you here.’’