Titled ‘Arab Media and Shock of Change’ and ‘Revolutions Re-draw Map of the Elite’

Dubai-UAE: 1 April, 2012 – Dubai Press Club, organisers of Arab Media Forum, today announced details of two key sessions that will take centre stage on the inaugural day of the 11th Arab Media Forum, the region’s largest media gathering.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the event will run from 8–9 May at the Grand Hyatt in Dubai. Themed ‘Arab Media: Exposure and Transition’, the event is set to draw the participation of eminent media personalities, thought leaders and politicians from around the world.

The first session titled ‘Arab Media and the Shock of Change’ aims to highlight the impact of the phenomenal change in the geo-political map of the Arab world on the media landscape. In some cases, the transformation can be seen as a radical reversal of policies of television stations, newspapers and columnists, especially in countries that have undergone the change.These shifts have particularly occurred in government-owned and private media establishments that have for decades been run as bureaucratic machines.

Arab Media Forum Speakers

In addition, the session will examine the audience’s dilemma to identify a media outlet that champions people’s causes and aspirations from the one that obstructs progress, or distinguish an outlet serving public interests from one promoting narrow vested interests. The situation is exhausting for viewers that seek accurate information and has even forced some to resort to the western media.

The session will also highlight the community’s expectation from the Arab media. It will look into the trust between the media and the community with the onslaught of new satellite channels and newspapers, as well as the growth of a technical environment that is capable of ending monopoly in the production and transmission of information.

Moderated by Naoufer Afli from Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI), the session will feature panellists such as Dr. Al Mahdi Mabrouk, Tunisian Minister of Culture, Sawsa Al Shaer , writer at Al Watan newspaper in Bahrain, Abdellatif El Menawy, former Head of News Section at Egyptian TV, Mousa Barhouma, Editor-in-Chief of the electronic newspaper ‘Fi Al Mersad’,and Randa Habib, Director of Middle East and North Africa, French Press Agency.

The second session titled ‘Revolutions Re-draw the Map of the Elite’ aims to shed light on the radical changes that the Arab revolutions have driven into the structure of the society. Not only have they overthrown regimes across a number of Arab states, the uprisings have also affected the political, cultural, social and economic power corridors. The socio-political changes have exposed the wide gap between the realities of life and the world of the elite.

The gap in the media landscape called for the introduction of new faces to fill up positions of decision makers. Individuals taking up these posts are being expected to deal with the challenging legacy carried overfrom the pre-Arab Spring era that is no longer applicable to the current reality. In addition, the session sheds light on the current status of elite groups, particularly those that have lost their credibility and influence.

Moderated by Jamil Azar from Al Jazeera, the session will host speakers including Dr. Al Tahar Labib, Professor of Sociology, Dr. Tamim Al Barghouti, Palestinian poet and Political Science Professor, Khairi Mansour, Writer and Author, Dr. Abdullah Al Ghathami, Professor of Criticism and Theory, King Saud University, Dr. Ghanim Al Najjar, Professor of Political Science, Kuwait University, and Dr. Maryam Lootah, Professor of Political Science, UAE University.

Details on the remaining sessions including speakers and participants will be announced shortly. Dubai Press Club has opened registration for the event through its website www.arabmediaforum.ae

Dubai Press Club Announces Details of Two Key Sessions on Opening Day of 11th Arab Media Forum

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