MENAA Awards recognize Arab News’ new direction

Arab News Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas, center, receives the MENAA Award in the presence of Daniel Seelhorf from ZHAW, left, and Dr. Maurice Dimmock from ASIC, right.
Updated 23 December 2016
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MENAA Awards recognize Arab News’ new direction

JEDDAH: Arab News has been honored at this year’s MENAA Awards for its transformation over the last three months and creating “momentum and buzz” in the media industry. 
Editor-in-Chief Faisal J. Abbas was presented with the prestigious Best Business Leaders Award at an event held last week at the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.
The MENAA Awards ceremony included a show-reel illustrating the rapid changes and achievements Arab News has made over the past three months, since the newspaper announced it was restoring its original tagline and positioning as “The Middle East’s Leading English Language Daily.”
One highlight of the newspaper’s coverage over the last few months was its exclusive poll on Arab public opinion toward the candidates in the recent US election. Results of the poll, which was carried out in conjunction with YouGov, attracted global attention and were carried in prominent news outlets such as CNN and The Observer newspaper.
The fourth edition of the MENAA Awards comprised two categories, the Best Business Leader Award and Customer Delight Award. A number of top executives from across the Middle East who were presented with trophies and certificates of achievement at the award ceremony, to mark their strong leadership of organizations in what is a turbulent business environment.
Allan Pease, the well-known Australian body language expert, presented the honors at the event, and paid tribute to the changes made at Arab News.
“In less than three months on the job, (Abbas) managed create enough momentum and buzz around the changes he has brought to his organization that his organization is literately now generating headlines worldwide,” Pease said.
In a statement, Dr. Sepehr Tarverdian, chief executive of the MENAA Organization, praised Arab News for being a “pioneer” and “a leading media outlet.”
“As the CEO of MENAA Awards Organization, it was a real pleasure, and honor to select the editor-in-chief of Arab News as the recipient of the Best Business Leaders Award in 2016 in the region,” he added.
For his part, Abbas thanked the award organizers. 
“On behalf of Arab News, we wish to thank the judges and the organizers of the fourth annual MENAA Awards on this recognition of the efforts of our newspaper as it prepares for a more global, more digital approach.”
“This recognition is dedicated to our Arab News team worldwide; however, the biggest prize we will always continue to aspire for daily is our readers’ continued trust,” said Abbas.
The Middle East, North Africa & Asia Award (MENAA) Organization says it aims to promote and improve the industries by acknowledging good corporate culture and leadership skills.

The honors list
Some of the most prominent winners of the MENAA Awards have included: Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman of Dubai Duty Free; Abdulaziz Al-Ghurair, chief executive of Mashreq Bank; and Mohammad Nasr Abdeen, chief executive of Union National Bank.
The Middle East, North Africa & Asia Award Organization, which has branches across the globe, has been at the forefront of running awards and forums over several years, with the aim of promoting and improving the industries by acknowledging good corporate culture and leadership.
Over 50 top business leaders were honored at the recent MENAA Awards in Dubai. Previous recipients of the awards have included the chief executives of Dubai Duty Free, Bahrain Duty Free, Arab National Bank, Union National Bank, Danube, Paris Gallery, Kempinski Hotels and the Ritz-Carlton.
Increasing revenues, market shares, improvement of customer satisfaction, and employee engagement and satisfaction are some of the criteria evaluated by the jury.
The jury members are chosen to “ensure a fair and balanced evaluation of all nominees,” the organizer said. “Each of the members is selected for his global expert opinion, valuable practical experience (in their) local and international business.”
The jury that evaluated this year’s MENAA Awards winners included Dr. Daniel Seelhoffer of ZHAW University, Dr. Joseph Sherren from the York University of Canada, Dr. Maurice Dimmock, the chief executive of ASIC in the UK, and other experienced executives.


How new criminal laws threaten Nepal journalism

A Nepalese roadside vendor reads the news in Kathmandu, Nepal, Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (AP)
Updated 24 September 2018
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How new criminal laws threaten Nepal journalism

  • The codes prohibit publishing private information, including of officials, ban recording without permission and require photographers to obtain permits in order to take pictures and sell and publish them

KATMANDU, Nepal: Journalists in Nepal are demanding changes to new criminal and civil codes they say undermine freedom of speech and expression.
The laws that took effect last month are general codes of conduct that apply to all citizens of Nepal, but press freedom groups say harsher sentences for libel and privacy violations are having a chilling effect on journalists in the small Himalayan country. Here are some details:
WHY THE NEW LAWS CAME ABOUT
Nepal’s new civil and criminal codes are the result of a new constitution adopted in 2015. Nepalese lawmakers had three years to design a set of laws that prescribe how the constitution should be interpreted. The codes cover everything from stipulating the legal age of marriage to enshrining property rights and describe how each civil violation or crime can be punished.
WHY THEY ARE CONTROVERSIAL
The constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression. But provisions of the new codes appear to limit these freedoms, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. “Nepal’s new criminal code marks a giant step backward for press freedom,” program coordinator Steven Butler said in a statement. For example, the codes make criticizing the president or members of Parliament criminal acts. The codes also prohibit publishing private information, including of officials, ban recording without permission and require photographers to obtain permits in order to take pictures and sell and publish them. The codes say that authorities can detain suspects for up to 40 days while investigating criminal charges. “Now journalists will be first detained and treated like murder suspects even before they are tried or given a chance to clarify,” said Ramesh Bistra, general secretary of the Federation of Nepalese Journalists, which has vowed to fight for the codes to be amended. The codes also ban satire, which in Nepal has been a prominent feature in the press and a popular form of protest throughout the country’s changing forms of government — from monarchy to autocratic rule to constitutional monarchy to the republic established in 2007.
CHILLING EFFECT
Press freedom groups say the language of the laws is broad enough to be used as a tool to attack journalists and deter them from doing their work. The four sections on privacy and defamation decree sentences of up to three years in prison and $260 in fines. Previously, journalists could be fined up to $217 for libel. “These new laws have created an environment of fear for the journalists and more and more of them are now practicing self-censorship,” said Taranath Dahal, who heads the Freedom Forum, a Nepal-based media rights group.
GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE
In response to journalists’ protests, the Nepalese government has formed a committee to recommend changes to the codes’ language. This committee, with representatives from several media rights groups and unions, has been given 45 days to come up with recommendations. The government, however, is not obliged to follow them. Even if the government accepts the changes, lawmakers would have to draft amendments, which would then have to be debated in Parliament before changes could be made. This could take months if not years in Nepal. Until then, the controversial new codes remain in effect.