Saudi Arabia will host the first of its kind global media forum that aims to bring together media professionals, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, multilateral agencies, civil society and government officials under one roof. The event to be held in the Saudi capital on December 2 and 3 aims to highlight the transformation or modernization the Kingdom has been undergoing.

“I believe we can move towards the future with confidence if we take everyone onboard, which means we share and exchange ideas, learn from them, and implement them,” said Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi, President of the Saudi Media Forum.

“This event gives us an opportunity to create that platform where professionals from all over the world can express their views freely on issues particularly related to the media industry. That said, its impact will be felt way beyond its apparently limited scope. Moreover, there have never been more opportunities for free expression than there are now in the digital age and we ought to use it to our utmost benefit.”

The digitization of the media presents opportunities as well as challenges to established players and newcomers alike. The forum will discuss all these prospects and examine what contributions the inevitable digitization of media and news can make to safeguarding the values of pluralism around the world, how to counter fake news, the need for balanced reporting and the like. 

Some of the topics to be debated include “Content Creation: Informing or Shaping Public Opinion?”; “The Future Of Linear TV In The Age Of Streaming” ;  “Media, 10 Years from Now” ;  “Newsroom 2020 and Beyond” ; “The Power of Intercultural Dialogue” ;  “How to Invest in GCC Media” ;  “Influencing Change: Wealth vs. Soft power” ;  “The war on Fake News” and “Racism, Extremism and The Mass Media.”

The relevance and utility of forums such as these cannot be underestimated. They are especially important for Saudi Arabia as the country seeks to build its nascent media industry to bring it to the level of other crucial and mega-developments that have been taking place across sectors.

The conference offers a unique opportunity to connect and strengthen relations with inspiring representatives from the fields of journalism, digital media, politics, culture, business, development, academia and civil society. “It’s also an opportunity for potential investors in the industry to see for themselves what Saudi Arabia seeks to do and what it has to offer to investors in the industry,” Mr Al-Harthi said.