RIYADH: More than 1,000 media professionals from around the world are expected to attend a Saudi conference aimed at tackling some of the major challenges facing the industry.
The Saudi Media Forum (SMF), organized by the independent Saudi Journalists Association (SJA), will take place in Riyadh from Dec. 2 to 3 under the title “Media Industry: Opportunities and Challenges.”
It will include panels, workshops, and meetings bringing together intellectual, cultural, and media leaders to discuss the sector and exchange ideas.
The forum’s theme aims to highlight the media as an interconnected industry and system, and focus on innovative, international experiences that have helped organizations adapt to the huge changes taking place in the sector across all media platforms.
SMF president, Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi, said: “We believe that the media industry as a whole is facing major changes and challenges today. Having a strong media presence within this environment is important for any country, as it is essential and an effective means of soft power that can influence real change at home and abroad.
“The more media is considered effective and influential, the greater the effectiveness of the community it represents.”
Topics to come under the forum’s spotlight will include the war on fake news, the changing face of journalism, and how to keep print media alive in a digital age.
“The forum will act as a key platform for local media professionals to get exposure to media expertise and competencies from many countries. It will also give foreign media an opportunity to learn about Saudi Arabia’s true fiber, particularly in regard to the social and economic changes transforming the Kingdom today,” added Al-Harthi.
The inaugural SMF will also provide the launch pad for the Saudi Media Awards, which the SJA hopes will encourage competition, innovation and creativity in the industry. Categories will include print, digital, and audiovisual production.
“We still have a long way to go. However, initiatives such as the Saudi Media Forum and the Saudi Media Awards are a step in the right direction toward the development of the media industry in Saudi Arabia and across the region.
“Through combined efforts and real-world knowledge exchange, we will continue to enhance Arab media as a whole, build a unique platform in which the changing paradigms of media are tackled, eventually affecting overall quality and freedom of press,” said Al-Harthi.
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