AIPS President Gianni Merlo arrived to a warm welcome at the 21st AIPS Asia Congress in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (Photo by SSMF)
by Amjad Aziz Malik, Secretary General, AIPS Asia
JEDDAH, September 21, 2018 - The 21st AIPS Asia Congress will hold an important place in the modern history of the continental association and in that of the world body of sports journalists. AIPS President Gianni Merlo upon arriving in Jeddah for the Congress expressed his belief that a clear message has to emerge for the future generations of journalists, given that AIPS ASIA will have an ever more important role in the time to come. The 21st AIPS Asia Congress will take place at Jeddah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 22-23 September.
Highlighting the role of fair play in the field, the AIPS President said, “Sports journalism and sports need clarity because this world is based on clear and universal principles. We have to acquire, every day, always more mastery in the media. For this reason,” he added, “We have to put focus onto a more precise, punctual and investigative journalism.”
Welcoming the arrival of delegates from 37 nations, the President said, “I cannot stress the importance of this meeting for the unity of Asia and for our entire association. In this moment,” he added, “We are experiencing a turning point for AIPS Asia in the most positive sense and I am happy to be in Jeddah as a part of it.”
AIPS Asia’s role in the future will be a major talking point of the Congress, as Merlo once again referred to the upcoming mega sports events on the continent – the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Qatar 2022 World Cup, Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games and a number of other that will no doubt captivate Asia and the world.
While reminding the delegates their future responsibilities, President Merlo said: “In Asia and around the world, our work is increasingly difficult and unstable. Our profession is being attacked by a wave of fake news which aims to manipulate reality and unfortunately, so many times succeeds, and it is our duty to study a way to defend ourselves,” he highlighted.
“We have few strategies left to safeguard our professional dignity and of course, we have to continue forward. Our role in society remains fundamental, he said. “The freedom of expression and the significance in providing correct information are our working tools. Without forgetting, in turn, that perfecting these two characteristics is a must,” Merlo stressed.
Referring to importance of enhancing the capabilities and culture of journalists the AIPS President said: “Our previously accumulated knowledge today is not enough, we need to arm ourselves with the will and humility to continue studying and improving and in that way, update our level of culture.”