Experts at AMF 2012 Examine Reasonsbehind Popularity of Individual Social Media Channels

Dubai-UAE: 9 May, 2012 – YouTube has facilitated the creation of a new era innews broadcasting allowing producers to project their personal viewpoints on current issues, according to panellists on day-two of the 11th Arab Media Forum (AMF 2012).

Titled ‘YouTube Channels…individual platforms that compete with satellite stations’ the session highlighted the phenomenal increase in private YouTube channels, especially in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt and Syria.

Moderated by Ola Al Fares, Anchor, MBC, the discussion drew the participation of Egypt-based Akram Hosni, Anchor of ‘Sayed Abu Hafeeza’, Bassem Youssef, TV Anchor, Egypt, Abdullatif Mustafa, Presenter, ‘Nashrat Ghaseel’ Show, YouTube, Qatar; Omar Hussien, Presenter, AlaTayer show, YouTube, Saudi Arabia, and Rajae Qawwas, Presenter, N2ocomedy, YouTube, Jordan.

The session highlighted the role of ‘YouTube’ as a platform to share recorded and live programmes that spotlight social, political and religious issues in an innovative and appealing format, differentiating the content from what viewers are accustomed to watching on the television.

Abdullatif Mustafa said: “I have used my channel to simplify political issues. My goal was to make these complex issues easier to understand, particularly for the youth.It is my belief that young people are indeed the future of the Arab region and their understanding of the political machine is vital to this future.”

Panellists additionally highlighted the way broadcasters depend on their own ideas and use the simple tools provided on new media platforms to present meaningful content, usually in comic form, to reach a wider cross-section of the public.

Speaking about his show on YouTube, Akram Hosni said: “It has been my belief that the world needs to laugh. Through my comedy, I have gained much satisfaction in detailing issues and problems facing the Arab world.”

Adding to the discussion, Bassem Youssef said: “My show on YouTube is personal in the sense that I am not promoting a specific message, but rather my own point of view. For me, the goal of YouTube is not simply to provide information but to pass on our own interpretation and viewpoint of these messages.”

The session also looked into the reasons behind the popularity of the private channels. Speaking from personal experience, Rajae Qawwas, whose YouTube channel has received over 17million views, explained: “YouTube channels play a key part in inculcating the nuances of TV production as a result of the digital tools at our disposal. Personally, I try to present the views of our team as best as I can and allow the viewer to draw informed conclusions of the content we deliver.”

Omar Husseinpointed out: “My show on YouTube has received over 23 million viewers. Much of the credit for this would go to the unique content that the show presents. Unlike the past where video content was passive,YouTube has facilitated a changing trend where these videos engage with theviewer on a one to one level.”

Themed ‘Arab Media: Exposure and Transition’, the 11th Arab Media Forum is a two-day event that has drawn the participation of regional and international journalists, as well as influential decision makers, opinion leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators.

In the run up to AMF 2012, Dubai Press Club released the key findings of the fourth Arab Media Outlook, providing projections for the regional media sector up to 2015. Every attendee to AMF 2012 has been handed a copy of the report.

The Arab Media Forum has garnered year-on-year success through the past 10 editions, validating Dubai and the UAE’s ability to host such high-profile events that draw a significant international media presence.

About AMF:
The Arab Media Forum is the Middle East’s most prominent media event every year. Beginning in 2001 and organized by the Dubai Press Club under the patronage of H.H.Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Forum has consistently tried to facilitate in-depth debates and exchange of ideas on the media in the region.

About DPC:
Dubai Press Club (DPC) is the Arab world’s preeminent media development organization. Established in 1999 as per the directives of H.H.Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Club has evolved over a period of one eventful decade into the most sought after platform for heads of state, eminent government officials, intellectuals, writers and other dignitaries to reach out to the media and communicate their message. It offers unparalleled services to its journalist members. It has played a pioneering role in the development of the Arab media through a host of media development initiatives, the most vital among them being the Arab Media Forum, the Arab Journalism Award and the Arab Media Outlook.

Day-Two of Arab Media Forum Underlines Enabling Role of YouTube Channels for Highlighting Personal Viewpoints

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