Towards the end of November 2019, the first Saudi Media Forum will be held in Riyadh, in addition to the inaugural Saudi Media Awards, which is to be held under the slogan ‘Media Industry: Opportunities and Challenges.’ The two-day Saudi Media Forum aims to provide the opportunity for Saudi media professionals and other prominent Arab and foreign media figures to meet and discuss the development and challenges facing the industry. The Saudi Journalists Association announced the dates today and discussed other important facets of the events.
During the event Khalid Al-Malik, Chairman of the Saudi Journalists Association, stated that media forum's goal is to become an annual happening to underscore Riyadh’s name as a media capital for the Arab world. The event will also boost Saudi Arabia’s reputation as a leading country in the global political and economic arena. The Chairman stated, "In its first year, the Saudi Media Forum & Awards will support organizations in discovering, celebrating & encouraging innovators in media." This event has received direct support from the Minister of Media, Turki Al-Shabanah who has had meetings with Saudi Journalists Association board members several times, and encouraged them to adopt different initiatives. He also affirmed the Media Ministry’s support for any projects that serve the industry and the Saudi media machine.
Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi, a Saudi Journalists Association board member and the Saudi Media Forum’s General Manager, spoke about Saudi's Arabia capital role in media, as he stated, "Riyadh is the most important media capital in the region. The Saudi Media Forum provides an opportunity for media professionals to network & discover the latest developments & challenges in the industry." He also underlined Saudi Arabia’s influential political and economic role within the international arena, and how it must be matched with an important and effective media role that’s proportionate with the country’s status and importance.
"The forum’s slogan this year is consistent with the information age and its numerous and diverse sources and communication networks," Al-Harthi said. This stresses on the fact that information is one of the tools of conflict to reach the truth and is the most competitive in media circles. "The use of information in a timely manner and objective context makes it important to concentrate on the content and to take the profession’s ethics and values into account," he continued.
In addition, Al-Harthi said the Saudi Media Awards will encourage and recognize the value of outstanding and professional work by members of the Kingdom’s media. The awards will include four categories: Press, Visual Production, Audio Production and Personality of the Year. The winners will receive rewarding prizes, including financial and supportive ones.
The Press award includes the following categories: news stories, reporting, dialogue, investigative reporting, articles, as well as photos and caricatures published in printed and online newspapers. The Visual Production domain comprises features reporting, dialogue, documentary reports and films, while the Audio Production field includes dialogue and mass communication.
Prominent and influential experts, leaders in the media industry and Arab and international media representatives will attend the forum and awards ceremony, according to Al-Harthi. And all journalists, academics and media representatives in government and private institutions will soon be able to register.