This year was one of uncertainty - and a few outright contradictions - in the Middle East media industry.
It was a year in which Rupert Murdoch arrived in the UAE to address the inaugural Abu Dhabi Media Summit, and several high-profile industry executives left their positions.
Major magazines such as Rolling Stone and National Geographic launched regional editions, while other publications folded. Qatar won the bid to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, although its home broadcaster scored an own goal over this year's tournament when Al Jazeera's coverage of several games was disrupted.
And while there was advertising growth in most markets, there was a decline in the UAE, the media capital of the Gulf.
Despite that, this year marked an uneasy stabilisation of the region's media industry, after the ravages of the recession.
Here, The National asks local executives for their reviews of this year - and predictions for next year.
Monitoring agencies recorded increases in advertising revenue across the region - with the exception of the UAE.
The Pan Arab Research Centre reports a 2.7 per cent decline in advertising in the UAE, compared with a 25.4 per cent rise across the entire GCC and pan-Arab region.
The rival media monitoring agency Ipsos MediaCTsays the only sector of the regional media to suffer a decline in advertising this year was newspapers in the UAE.
"I think newspaper [revenues] in the UAE have all the time been inflated. They used to have all the adverts for real estate - and rates doubled, and tripled," says Elie Aoun, the managing director for the MENA region at Ipsos MediaCT.
Mr Aoun expects next year to see growth in outdoor advertising in Kuwait and radio advertising in Saudi Arabia. "Television will continue to be the dominant media, and I don't see this changing for many years," he says.
"The good thing about 2010 was that it ended much better than it started," says Karim Sarkis, the executive director of broadcast at the Abu Dhabi Media Company (ADMC), which owns and publishes The National.
The "single most important thing" in the broadcast industry this year was the confirmation that the long-awaited "people meters" - a system used to measure the size of TV audiences - will be launched in the UAE, Mr Sarkis says.
"We're hoping it will bring some added confidence in television as an advertising medium. If nothing else, it will help us know if we are making the right programming decisions," he says.
If this year marked some contradictions in the media industry, they were especially apparent in the publishing sector.
Big-name magazines including National Geographic, Rolling Stone and Forbes launched regional editions, and the daily newspaperSport 360 started publishing in Abu Dhabi.
Yet there were several closures of magazine titles, while newspapers including Kuwait's Arabic-language daily Arrouiah also folded. In July, the data supplier MediaSource said that one fifth of all Gulf-based print titles had shut since the start of last year
Mark Rix, the chief executive of the newspaper 7DAYS, says publishers face growing pressure to "demonstrate a credible return" for advertisers. "Pressure for increased accountability and cost-efficiency in media investment continues to grow," he says.
Ricky Ghai, the executive director of digital media at ADMC, says that while online media may have matured this year, there will be tougher competition next year.
"There was a sudden realisation in 2009 that media was turning digital. But 2010 saw the true digital revolution," Mr Ghai says. "2011 is going to be the consumer revolution … There are enough digital offerings out there for consumers to realise what digital can mean for them."
He says digital media companies will be forced to embrace more inventive business models. He points to opportunities in e-commerce, the sale of "virtual goods" in computer games, and online ticketing sites. "You'll start to see some very creative business models born out of necessity," he says.
Yousef Tuqan Tuqan, the chief executive of the digital agency Flip Media in Dubai, says clients are more willing to make "long-term investments" in dedicated online properties. "Brands are beginning to see the elastic limits of Facebook and Twitter," he says.
A few lessons were learned in the public relations (PR) field this year, says Alexander McNabb, the group account director at Spot On Public Relations in Dubai.
Mr McNabb says it has been a "good year" for the PR industry, with the emergence of social media "transforming" the sector. He points to an incident in February, concerning a leak at a giant aquarium at the Dubai Mall - something that was initially denied by the developer.
"The major lesson we learnt this year was that, if you are going to claim that there's not a flood in a major shopping centre, then make sure that shopping centre is not full of people with mobile phones," he says.
Ray Eglington, the international managing director at Four Communications in Abu Dhabi, says there have been two major growth markets for public relations this year. "It was very much the year of Abu Dhabi; for the industry, Abu Dhabi was really the bright spot," he says. "We're seeing a lot of action in Oman".