‘Greater efforts needed’ for Saudization of media

JEDDAH: Arab News

Published — Tuesday 11 December 2012

Last update 11 December 2012 5:46 am

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Saudi Arabia is leading Arab states in media investments, said Abdullah Al-Jaser, undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture and Information, at the concluding session of the media forum that was held at the Riyadh Chamber. He added the advertising market in the Kingdom is huge and attractive to investors.
The Ministry of Culture and Information approved the forming of a joint committee between the ministry and the chamber, to follow up on the implementation of the forum’s recommendations and to investigate the obstacles investors are facing.
Although there are a number of media and advertising firms that were granted licenses to work, they are still not functioning properly, Al-Jaser said, explaining that none of the licenses will be renewed until after field visits by the ministry officials to check on their work.
Al-Jaser said the Saudization of the media industry requires greater efforts to compensate for the shortage in qualified national personnel, in addition to the lack of a media-training center. He pointed out that the ministry is formulating plans to alleviate this problem in cooperation with the Prince Ahmad bin Salman Applied Media Institute.
Abdulrahman Al-Hazza, president of the Radio and Television Corporation, said the corporation’s utmost priority is to open opportunities for private broadcasting firms. He said technical, environmental and organizational framework problems have already been resolved.
The forum discussed a number of papers that addressed topics such as the challenges facing advertising companies, eliminating anti-trust and the opportunities in the media market. Speakers at he forum said the suggested recommendations would promote development, security and eliminate unemployment. They also stressed the fact that the media industry will flourish only when the problems related to the infrastructure and legal environment are addressed.

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