Arab media must avoid fake news and stick to objectivity, says minister

The Arab ministers discussed a number of initiatives and ideas to revitalize the media industry, also agreeing to abide by a code of conduct and ethics. (SPA)
Updated 10 January 2019
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Arab media must avoid fake news and stick to objectivity, says minister

  • Concerted efforts urged to fight extremism and terrorism
  • Al-Shabanah stressed the role of Arab media in combating terrorism through educational programs that raised awareness about this phenomenon

JEDDAH: The Kingdom’s media minister met with information ministers from the Arab League on Wednesday, with fake news and Palestine among the issues discussed.
Turki bin Abdullah Al-Shabanah welcomed the audience to Riyadh and greeted them on behalf of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who wished them success in strengthening media efforts within the Arab League framework.
The session was organized in partnership with the Saudi Media Ministry as part of celebrating Riyadh being named the Arab Media Capital for 2018-2019.
Al-Shabanah kick-started the meeting by saying it was important to emphasize the Palestinian cause and the coordinated Arab media efforts needed to promote it.
Another topic was an amendment to the code of conduct for Arab media, including the avoidance of spreading rumors and fake news, committing to objectivity and professionalism and avoiding hate speech.
Al-Shabanah stressed the role of Arab media in combating terrorism through educational programs that raised awareness about this phenomenon.
The success of Arab efforts in tackling terrorism required constant coordination and a united front, aimed at fighting radical and misguided ideas, he said.
Secretary-General of the Arab League’s Social Affairs Sector Badr Al-Din Alali thanked the Kingdom for its hospitality and congratulated Al-Shabanah on his recent appointment as media minister.
Alali spoke about the last decade, which had witnessed tremendous regional and global changes that demanded a better performance and capacity from Arab media so that it could compete on the international stage.
He said the secretariat-general of the Arab League and Council of Arab Media Ministers were keen to develop and strengthen the work of the media.
This enthusiasm and support was reflected by the council’s decisions and discussions from recent years, such as its role in combating terrorism and achieving sustainable development goals, he said.
Last month the Kingdom’s then-Media Minister Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad and his Arab counterparts pledged to devise a joint Arab strategy to overcome the challenges facing the region.
They discussed a number of initiatives and ideas to revitalize the media industry, also agreeing to abide by a code of conduct and ethics.
The Council of Arab Media Ministers’ Executive Office includes the following members: Jordan, the UAE, Tunisia, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq and Egypt.


Jeddah to host first global village in Saudi Arabia

The marketing plan of the village has been put in place to target private and international schools to ensure high attendance. (Shutterstock)
Updated 21 January 2019
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Jeddah to host first global village in Saudi Arabia

  • “Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters,” Suzan Eskander said

JEDDAH: For the first time in Saudi Arabia, Jeddah will host a multicultural festival that takes visitors on a virtual tour of 50 countries.
The global village will be set up inside Atallah Happy Land Park along the city’s famous waterfront every day from 5 p.m. to midnight between Feb. 28 and March 29.
The event is one of many aiming to enhance tourism, as well as the local economy.
Suzan Eskander, director-general of International Image, the organizing company, told Arab News that the village is expected to attract 1 million visitors.
“Participants from some 50 countries have so far confirmed their interest in taking part in the festival, which will be held on an area of more than 45,000 square meters,” she said.
“There will be pavilions for participants from five Gulf Cooperation Council states, 10 Arab countries, 18 African countries, 10 European countries and four countries from the Americas.”
She added that folkloric dances would be performed by bands from each country.
“Performers will be dressed in traditional costumes,” she said. “Visitors can also enjoy dishes and traditional products from different countries.”
Eskander also said paintings portraying heritage and culture in the different countries would be on display.
“In addition, we are hopeful that the children’s zone will wow young visitors,” she said. “Little guests can develop their skills in drawing and games, as well as play zones.”
Eskander said the village was timed to coincide with the city’s good weather season, adding that a marketing plan has been put in place to target private and international schools to ensure high attendance. Eskander expressed her gratitude to the General Entertainment Authority for their continued support and cooperation.
“They have not only provided us instructions for obtaining the festival’s license, but are still following up to ensure that everything is going smoothly,” she said.