ABU DHABI // A responsible media will be crucial in the region in the wake of the Arab Spring, journalists and media experts at the two-day Arab Media Forum said yesterday.
The 12th forum, held under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, brings together professionals from across the Arab world to discuss issues in the regional media landscape and provides a platform for sharing insights on political, social and economic factors affecting the industry.
“Since the last media forum, there have been a number of changes and political events,” said Monal Al Marri, director general of the Dubai government media office and chairman of the Arab Media Forum organising committee.
“Winds of change have affected states. Media has been at the heart of these developments.
“Arab Media Forum 2013 is being held to reflect on the reality of the Arab media, to examine its strengths and weaknesses and to take a peek into the future and define the challenges and opportunities,” Ms Al Marri said.
In his keynote address, Dr Nabil Elaraby, the secretary general of the Arab League, said the forum “gives proposals and defines the rapid changes that are taking place in the Arab world”. Dr Elaraby called on Arab journalists to “enhance skills, add value to our society and become more responsible in correcting the distorted image of Arabs and our heritage”.
The forum continues today with sessions on the role of media in promoting Arabic language and changing perceptions of Islam through media. It will close with the Arab Journalism awards tonight.