World journalists confab opens in Seoul

More than a hundred journalists from all over the world gathered in Seoul on Monday for a conference to discuss the role and future of journalism, organizers said.

About 110 reporters from 74 countries are taking part in the daylong conference and events that follow, the first of its kind hosted by the Journalists Association of Korea.

Among the participants are Jim Boumelha, the president of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the world's largest organization of journalists; reporters from British daily Guardian; German public broadcaster ARD; China's official Xinhua News Agency; and Japanese national broadcaster NHK.

In a congratulatory message at the opening ceremony in the Korea Press Center in central Seoul, Prime Minister Chung Hong-won called on the participants to try to convey the South Korean People's wish for peace to the world.

"Journalists' sense and the Internet that brings the world together also affect the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula," Chung said. "We've seen a slew of cases where a single photo, a single line of articles changed the whole world."

The opening ceremony is to be closely followed by the conference on "the future of journalism in the age of digital media" and "digital media and the changing role of journalists" at the same venue.

After the conference, the journalists will be offered tours to the country's easternmost islets of Dokdo and the demilitarized zone (DMZ), factories of Samsung Electronics in Suwon, the science research complex in Daejeon and various other places until Sunday.

They will issue a "world journalists' declaration for peace on the Korean Peninsula" that will contain their wish for inter-Korean peace at the end of the event, the organizers said.

Philippines News agency