• Bassma Al Jandaly, Editor In Chief

19th Arab Media Forum focuses on vital need to continue promoting industry development


DUBAI -- In the virtual presence of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, Mona Ghanem Al Marri, President of the Dubai Press Club, delivered the opening speech at the 19th edition of the Arab Media Forum (AMF).


Organised virtually by the Dubai Press Club, in adherence with COVID-19 precautionary protocols, the 2020 edition of AMF brought together prominent industry leaders to discuss the outlook for the region’s media sector.


Mona Al Marri said that the keenness of media figures to participate in this annual event, despite the exceptional circumstances, sends an important message on the need to continue working to develop the media sector in the Arab world.


"The current crisis has been a real test for media around the world. It pushed us to think differently about how to create a better Arab media industry. Many media organisations in the region have been affected by the global crisis due to the declining advertising market, which is the main source of revenue. However, media content not only continued to be delivered during these difficult times, it also evolved, particularly across digital platforms," Al Marri said.


Speaking on the issue of audience trust and the participation of youth in the industry, Al Marri said, "There is no doubt that today the stakes are higher for content, digital tools and platforms that offer Arab audiences a more impactful and engaging media experience. The biggest challenge for Arab media lies in the crisis of trust among large segments of the public, especially the youth. Arab media institutions do not satisfy the needs of the youth who are set to bring profound transformations in the future. The youth need to be given more attention."


The President of the Dubai Press Club pointed out that the Organising Committee of the Arab Media Forum was keen to include in the event’s agenda developments that had an impact on the region at various levels, especially political and social. The main focus, however, was on the COVID-19 pandemic and its profound economic, social and health impact, all of which affect the future of Arab media.


The Arab Media Forum, which was launched under the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum 20 years ago, is the largest gathering of the media industry in the region. The prestigious event has played a significant role in fostering dialogue between media industry players in the Arab world and their counterparts globally on the important transformations affecting the media industry.


The vision of the Arab Media Forum is to transform the media landscape in the region by encouraging the adoption of the latest technology, industry trends, and international best practices.


Held under the theme ‘Arab Media: The Future is Digital’, the 19th edition of the Arab Media Forum saw more than 10,000 people tune in to the Forum’s sessions, which were broadcast live on a special platform set up for the Forum and through the live feature on DPC’s official Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. The Arab Journalism Award ceremony, which honoured 11 outstanding journalists in the Arab world, was also broadcast live.


The largest gathering of media industry stakeholders in the region, the annual Arab Media Forum has provided a platform over the last two decades to discuss ideas and solutions for enhancing the progress and prosperity of the region.

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