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Fourth Saudi forum reviews region’s media

More than 100 delegates from Saudi Arabia and the region attended the fourth Saudi Media Forum in Jeddah, supported by the ABU.

The two-day forum at the Jeddah Hilton from 27-28 November 2014 was organised by the General Commission of Audiovisual Media and supported by the Arab State Broadcasting Union and the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting.

The forum was opened by the Minister of Hajj and Acting Minister of Culture and Information of Saudi Arabia, Dr Bandar bin Mohammad Hajjar. In his opening address he reviewed the history of development of the media, saying there were satellite channels that sought only profitability and spread sectarianism, prejudice and hatred. He said that the current era was marked by the proliferation of a vast number of channels that needed to be organised and filtered for the benefit of viewers.

Dr Riyadh Kamal Najm, President of the General Commission for Audiovisual Media, in his keynote address said that the forum aimed to create a platform for decision-makers in the Saudi media sector and for the exchange of ideas and strategies to face future challenges. He also spoke of the media industry in Saudi Arabia and the licensing regime of new TV channels.

The forum, which started in 2011, brings together people in broadcasting, media and entertainment production from Saudi Arabia and around the region and the globe.

Organisers say the forum gives delegates the chance to interact with the latest products, explore technological innovations firsthand and hear from experts who shape the industry at every stage. It also focuses on digital media as an area of growing influence, along with an emphasis on the role of Saudi women in the media with the aim of encouraging their participation and contribution.

The forum also includes an exhibition of service providers and manufacturers from the region.