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Theme of Developing People, Organizations
Arab Media Forum to Open on April 24
Mona Al Marri, Chairperson of Dubai Press Club

DUBAI —The Dubai Press Club has announced top regional and international speakers and over 1,000 delegates will converge on Dubai for the Arab Media Forum 2007, to map out a blueprint for Arab media under the theme, "Developing People, Developing Organisations."

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister, and Ruler of Dubai, the Arab Media Forum 2007 will take place on April 24-25 at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.

Mona Al Marri, Chairperson, Dubai Press Club, said: "Change and development in the Arab media are what the next stage is all about. The forum will act as a platform for discussing the developmental challenges facing the media. The Forum has been designed not only to shed light on the strengths and weaknesses of the Arab media but also to identify various factors that can accelerate its growth

"We have confirmed participation of top regional and international media experts as the theme 'Developing People, Developing Organisations' is particularly relevant to the region. Among those participating will be heads of media conglomerates, officials, and academics from all over the world," Al Marri added.

The organising committee has asked Habib Al Sadar, Chairman, Iraqi Media Network; Saad Al Ajmi, former Kuwaiti Minister of Information and Culture and Osama Saraya, Editor-in-Chief, Al Ahram, Egypt, to lead the discussion on the plenary session on 'Developing People, Developing Organisations.' The session will be moderated by Mohammed Ghubash, Media Specialist, UAE.

The session titled 'Developing People, Developing Organisations' will centre on the potential of the industry for developing professionals and media entities, focusing on factors such as the size and growth of media entities, the emergence of new media and its convergence in the industry, and ways to develop the right people for the Arab media industry.

The second session, 'Content versus Profit: The Impact of Advertising on Programme Content', will debate the issue of keeping a healthy bottom line while maintaining the value of editorial content. The speakers for this session include Tahseen Khayat, Chairman, New TV, Lebanon; Abdulatif Al Sayegh, CEO, Arab Media Group, UAE; and Mansoor Al Jamri, Editor-In-Chief, Alwasat, Bahrain. The session will be moderated by Abdullah Rasheed, Emirates Media Group.

The third session, 'The Effect of Technology Innovation on Today's Media Landscape', will feature Ali Al Assam, Managing Director, KnowledgeView; Samih Toukan, Chief Executive Officer,; Ashish Patil, General Manager, MTV Asia, India; Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer, du; and Qassem Ali, Chief Executive Officer, RAMATTAN, Palestine. The session, that will be moderated by Zaven Kouyoumdjian, Anchor, Future TV, will discuss ways to enhance quality and accuracy of content, provide real time reporting and reach wider audiences using the dynamism of innovative technology.

'Reaching Out Across Cultures' will highlight the vital role of media professionals in shaping global perceptions of the Arab world. The speakers for the session include Hosam Al Sukari, Chairman, BBC Arabia; Judith Kipper, Advisor, Middle East Programmes, Council on Foreign Relations, US, and Jamil Mroue, Editor-in-Chief, Daily Star, Lebanon. The moderator for the session will be Sulaiman Al Hatlan, Editor-in-Chief, Forbes Arabia.

In addition to panel discussions, the Arab Media Forum 2007 will feature a media interview with telecom and media moghul Naguib Sawiris, Chairman and CEO, Orascom Telecom, Egypt. Nadine Hani, Al Arabiya Anchor will conduct the interview at the Forum.

Dubai Press Club, in association with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), will also release a comprehensive report - Arab Media Outlook' - at the Forum, outlining the current status and future prospects for the Arab media. The report is supported by TECOM Investments media cluster, Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City and International Media Production Zone.

The report will be presented by Mona Al Marri, Chairperson, Dubai Press Club, Amina Al Rustamani, Executive Director of Media, TECOM Investments and Marcel Fenez, Global Media Leader, Leader - Entertainment and Media Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Arab Media Outlook will provide an overview of the Arab media industry, its status and trends, and its implications for journalists and organisations in the pan-Arab region. Through this report the Arab Media Forum will introduce case studies for the first time to identify strengths and weaknesses of the Arab media industry.

Al Marri said: "This year's agenda has been carefully crafted to identify various factors that can accelerate the growth of Arab media, besides shedding light on its strengths and weaknesses. The discussions will be underpinned with case studies and models to develop the regional media industry."

The second day will include a session on 'The Rights and Privileges of Media Professionals' to explore the importance of protecting the privileges of all professional journalists in the region. The speakers for the session include Galal Aref, President, Union of Egyptian Journalists, Egypt; Edmond Saab, Editor-in-Chief, Al Nahar, Lebanon; Raj Chengappa, Deputy Editor, India Today, India; Ali Al Ahmad, General Manager, AD TV; and Donald Trelford, Chairman, London Press Club, UK And former Editor of the Observer newspaper. The moderator for the session will be Shada Omar, Anchor, LBC.

AMF 2007 will also initiate discussion on the Al Arabiya News Channel's experience of 'Converting Journalists from Print to Television.' The session will discuss the challenges faced, the requirements of modern TV journalism and related technical aspects. The speakers for the session include Mohammed Al Hajeri, Researcher, Al Wakt, Bahrain; George Semaan, Al Hayat LBC, Lebanon; Ayman Al Safadi, Editor, Al Ghad, Jordan; Nabil Al Khatib, Executive Editor, Al Arabiya News Channel; Khatem Al Mahdy, Video Journalism trainer, Al Arabiya and Fadel Abbas, Video Journalism trainer, Al Arabiya. It will be moderated by Taher Barakah, TV Anchor, Al Arabiya.

The concluding session on 'Ranking Training and Education in the Rung of Priorities' will debate the value of media education and its status in the Arab world. The speakers for this session include Mohammad Yousef, Chairman, UAE Journalists' Association; Mohammad Barakat, Editor-in-Chief, Al Khbar, Egypt; Abdallah Schleifer, Founder, Adham Center for Television, American University of Cairo; Jim Laurie, Media Consultant, University of Hong Kong, and Shishir Joshi, Executive Director, TV Today Group, India. It will be moderated by Itidal Mujbary, Media Specialist, Tunisia.

The Arab Media Forum has successfully established itself as one of the most important media events in the region. The high significance of the issues discussed has gained the forum extensive regional and international media visibility.

For further information on Arab Media Forum 2007, please visit the website - -.






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