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Evolution of Arab media gathers momentum


Arab Media Forum 2014 focuses on new media as the sector goes through digital evolution

May 21, 2014 3:22 by

By Staff

Major stakeholders in Arab world’s media, including regulators, have accepted the importance of new technologies in the evolution of media and communication sector.

Understandably, adapting to new ways of mass communication is the central theme of 2014’s Arab Media Forum in Dubai.

Director-general of the Arab Media Forum Organising Committee, Mona Al Marri, says: “This year’s forum will examine development necessities in the media industry in light of new technologies, and will shed light on how new trends are challenging conventional media, thus altering text-book definitions and principles in this field.”

Sessions during AMF 2014 endeavour to identify essential areas that require development in the industry. Al Marri adds: “Creating a platform that gathers the finest of media personalities, intellectuals and executives in the region, the forum will attempt to draw key outlines for advancing the industry in the years to come.

“An important aspect of development is to raise the bar of professionalism and creativity to satisfy the audience’s intellect and gain their trust,” she concludes.

While print media is gradually losing steam in the developed market, Arab world’s published word is still strong. However, the new media will eventually prevail in this region too – hence the need to discuss latest technological dimensions of the future of media.

Ross Dawson, renowned researcher and futurist, stressed that the Arab world’s media need to shift away from old channels to marry new channels, create contents for global audience and recognize community attitude to stay afloat in the Internet era.

Speaking during ‘The Future of Arab Media’ session, Dawson said: “Newspapers in their current form will become insignificant in the years to come due to stiff competition with other media platforms.”

Giving a timeline, he says by 2028 newspapers in the UAE will become insignificant, but not newspaper organizations.

In the United States, it’s is going to be 2017, the United Kingdom and Iceland 2019, Australia and Hong Kong 2022, Germany 2030, Japan 2031, Serbia and Saudi Arabia 2034, Russia and Turkey 2036, Metro South Africa and Thailand 2037, Mongolia 2038, Argentina 2039 and rest of the world 2040.

“Key factors that speed up newspaper extinction are increasing cost, performance of mobile phones, tablets, e-readers, changes in newsprint and print production costs, trends in advertising spend and uptake of digital news monetization mechanisms,” says Dawson.

“People will spend more time on new media such as the internet, digital TV and analog TV, whereas they will spend less time on print media, as low as approximately five hours per week, but as high as 85 hours per week on the internet,” concludes the media futurist.

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