News agencies embrace information technology

Updated 23 November 2013
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News agencies embrace information technology

Abdul Aziz Khoja, minister of culture and information, launched the fourth News Agencies World Congress (NAWC) in Riyadh on Monday. Khojah is also the chairman of the board of directors of the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA), which is hosting the congress. He called upon the media fraternity at the largest gathering of international media to brace themselves for the challenges faced by the information technology sector in the 21st century.
“Today, the world is full of changes and contradictions,” he said. “Media play an important role as a communicator around the world. The main goal of this media conference is to get a better understanding of new developments and the future role of media around the world. We aim to share experiences and expertise.” The minister hoped the conference would lay foundations for positive cooperation among news agencies in the world during the three-day brainstorming session.
“The Kingdom always supports humanitarian work and we see the role of the media as an enforcer of humanitarian aspects,” he maintained. “Saudi Arabia is setting up dialogues and reaching out to all cultures.” International communication is an excellent opportunity for sound dialogue, he said.
He said, “We have made ample progress in media objectivity in the Kingdom.”
The Kingdom’s private and public media outlets are very keen to adopt the latest developments taking place at a local, regional and international level, the minister stated.
Abdullah bin Fahad Al-Hussein, SPA president, stressed the importance of technological development for the growth of the media industry.
Al-Hussein, who is also NAWC chairman, called on the media to improve skills among personnel and to stick to the ethics of the profession.
He said that the SPA is hosting this international conference for the first time in the Middle East region, the fourth in a series of conferences.


In 2004, Russia hosted the first NAWC at an invitation from the Russian agency Itar-Tass. The second congress was held in Spain in 2007 at an invitation from the Spanish news agency Efe and the third congress was hosted by Argentine in 2010 at an invitation from the Argentine national news agency Telam.
“We are hoping that the Riyadh congress contributes to strengthening cooperation between news agencies around the world to serve the interest of future programs and plans leading to the enhancement of professionalism in news agencies,” the NAWC chairman asserted.
He hoped that the discourse at this convention would enrich the work of the congress and reach positive outcomes for the media.
Clive Marshall, executive director of the British Press Association Agency, emphasized the importance of the fourth news agencies congress in the wake of ongoing development and the impact of Internet technologies on the media in the world contributing to the rapid spread of information.
He urged media personalities to take advantage of Internet technologies and social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.


Peace, security and economy top agenda of Saudi Shoura session

The current Shoura Council is composed of 150 members including 30 women members. (SPA)
Updated 33 min 59 sec ago
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Peace, security and economy top agenda of Saudi Shoura session

  • Al-Khunaizi said that King Salman’s speech will have “added political and economic significance, and it will lay out the agenda for the rest of the Shoura’s term”

RIYADH: King Salman on Monday will deliver his inaugural address at the Shoura Council, where he will talk about a range of local and regional issues and urge lawmakers to support the government in taking the country forward.
The king’s speech, which will serve as a guideline for Shoura members, will begin the deliberations of the new parliamentary year of the 150-member council.
“The king’s visit to the Shoura is of utmost importance, and his speech will define domestic, regional and foreign policies,” said Hoda Al-Helaissi, a member of the Shoura Council here on Wednesday.
“With the visit of King Salman to the Shoura Council to mark the beginning of the third year of the seventh term, we take a moment to reflect on the past year,” Al-Helaissi said.
She said that “the past year has been a year of challenges and opportunities both within the Kingdom and abroad.”
“Remarkably, as is in our nature, and as exemplified by our leadership, we have remained steadfast in our values and beliefs, committed as a country to the well-being of our citizens, not least as explained in what has now become known as Saudi Arabia’s road-map for the future, Vision 2030,” Al-Helaissi said.
“As the home of the Two Holy Mosques and as an important strategic player in the region, Saudi Arabia has an important role in global politics and we look forward to hearing the king’s speech this coming Monday,” Al-Helaissi said.
Guidelines for addressing local and regional challenges with a special reference to domestic and foreign policies will be spelled out by King Salman, she said.
“Elaborate preparations have been made to receive the king on this occasion,” said Mohammed Al-Khunaizi, another member of the Shoura Council. Al-Khunaizi said that King Salman’s speech will have “added political and economic significance, and it will lay out the agenda for the rest of the Shoura’s term.”
“The occasion marks the beginning of the new year for the council,” said Al-Khunaizi, while forecasting a number of proposals, decisions, draft legislation, treaties and foreign policy matters to be discussed and debated in 2019.
He said that the king’s speech may touch on subjects such as society, security, peace, stability, extremism, economy, financial reforms, regional challenges and foreign policy matters.
Al-Khunaizi noted that the role of women members of the Shoura Council had lent new dimension to the debate and deliberations of the council. He said that the current Shoura Council is composed of 150 members including 30 women members.