The AIPS President Gianni Merlo spoke ahead of the ‘AIPS Executive Committee / Jury Meet – 2018’ at the Sharq Village & Spa, in Doha on Monday.
AIPS President Gianni Merlo has stressed on the fact that the primary goal of the ‘AIPS Executive Committee / Jury Meet – 2018’ starting here tomorrow, was to select the “best” entry for the AIPS Sports Awards scheduled for January in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Merlo, who is leading the AIPS Executive Committee members and jurors from across the world in this 4-day event, spoke to renowned sports journalist Rhodri Williams of AlKass Sports Channels, ahead of the meet at the Sharq Village & Spa – the venue for the meet.
“We have to judge all the entries and after that we will chose the best. The situation is this one – We have received 1276 entries submissions in eight categories – So that is a huge amount of work and they are coming form 119 countries. This is the most successful result.” Putting the importance of award in perspective, Merlo added, “You can imagine in some way the total world is following these awards. From here we will chose the semi-finalists and that would be around 15 from each category. Then after that a jury of 12 members, specialised in finding only the finalists; that will be three; will be invited in Lausanne.”
The AIPS President went on to focus how the young and upcoming journalists today have to struggle to defend their independence and how the AIPS is playing a vital role towards it.
“Our role is – first, to defend our independence; to send around a new culture, because we have to look to the future. We have to adapt our profession to the new tools, but the principle of our profession stays the same.”
The former ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’ journalist also shed light on the changing scenario in journalism.
“It is not because of the presence of the computer or that of the mobile phones that our philosophy is changing and also our dignity is changing – NO! The principle of the fair journalism is still there. We have to find a new solution of how to write, how to propose, how to send some images.”
“For example – In the submission we found something that ‘New York Times’ had spoken about last week – there would be some video of 360 degrees that helps you to look around the event. In the future maybe that the image would be important, but even after that, people want to read. For example, now there has been an increase in the number of young people who are going back to the books. People are going back to the book, back to the paper. Because Kindle and ‘Sound’ are nice and sound, but it’s not the same feeling,” said the 71-year old journalist.
Citing an example from California, he added, “In California people are thinking that we cannot allow people to spend all the day on mobile phones or on the computer. That we completely kill their personality, so we have to go back to their human part. I know that sometimes it looks like a dream, but we must be dreamers.”
On the fact that Doha has become a home of international sporting events, Merlo added, “My first Congress as President of the AIPS was in Doha in 2006. After that, we have had another Congress in 2016 and two other Executive Committee Meets and we have had two young reporters’ projects here.”
“The cultural discussion, here has always been very hot; we have discussed how to promote the culture. So, it’s normal that we are here. It is normal because the journalists of Qatar (Qatar Sports Press Committee) are our partners in the world. But, especially they were always together, we discussed about culture. Together we are building a new culture, so it was important to begin here and afterwards we will go around the world,” he said.
Speaking further about embracing the culture of Doha, the IAAF award-winning journalist, said, “The Executive Committee members when they finish their work, they would spend one more day here and go to visit the facilities for the FIFA World Cup 2022, to visit the Qatar Foundation, and have different experiences.
This because some of them have already seen Qatar six years ago, four years ago, but now new things have come up.”
“Qatar is like Beijing of some years ago, every six month you would find something new. It would provide them with the opportunity to enter in the era of the new World Cup here. And a visit to the Gymnastics, 48th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships 2018 event as well.”
“This is the most important thing – we will touch down everywhere,” he added.
Courtesy: Qatar Sports Press Committee