• More than 1,000 media leaders from around the world are expected to attend the high-profile gathering taking place in Riyadh from Dec. 2-3

RIYADH: The upcoming Saudi Media Forum will provide an important global platform for media professionals to discuss the opportunities and challenges facing the industry, according to experts.

More than 1,000 media leaders from around the world are expected to attend the high-profile gathering taking place in Riyadh from Dec. 2 to 3.

Media specialists, intellectuals and diplomats will participate in panels, workshops and meetings to exchange ideas and discuss current developments in the sector, which is facing a difficult period in terms of structuring and media economy challenges.

Former Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri noted that Riyadh’s hosting of the event reflected confidence and pride in the great strides made in the Kingdom in recent years under the leadership of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Asiri said that the chance for print and digital media professionals from the capital to interact with their Saudi counterparts at the forum would provide professional, cultural and social opportunities, along with exchanges of expertise, that would have positive international repercussions.

Dr. Fahad Al-Orabi Al-Harthi, the president of Asbar Center for Studies, Research and Communications, praised forum organizers for selecting research centers and think tanks as a discussion topic for one of the sessions.

He said such bodies helped decision-makers plan for the future and identify risks and opportunities in working to achieve their goals.

“Today there are research centers and think tanks that are capable of setting their ways and having the required impact in what they produce to ensure more progress in this regard.”

Lebanese journalist Samir Atallah stressed that the Saudi Media Forum was a natural byproduct of a path guided by King Salman. 

He pointed out that the Kingdom’s media had consistently moved forward and planned for the future, achieving a leading position and contributing to the promotion of Arab unity.

“The Saudi media was late in having its own forum, yet we should not forget that the Saudi media began its mission with other Arab newspapers in Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon, from modest beginnings and potentials to transcontinental outreach, with steady pace and great future planning, and was the first to establish Arab printed press in Europe and America,” said Atallah.

“In addition, it was also the first to launch the most important Arab television networks from London and via satellites.”