By a Staff Writer
Published — Thursday 1 March 2001
Last Update 1 March 2001 3:00 am
JEDDAH, 1 March — Arab News goes online today in its continuing service to its readers worldwide by keeping them informed about the latest developments in Saudi Arabia. Khaled Al-Maeena, editor in chief of Arab News, hoped that www.arabnews.com would become an independent e-newspaper soon.
Al-Maeena said the new website, the latest product of Saudi Research & Publishing Company, would widen the scope of Arab News, the Kingdom’s first and leading English language daily. The Internet, he pointed out, would give the newspaper a wider impact as it reaches readers much quicker than printed dailies.
The editor in chief hoped that arabnews.com would help the expatriates, who have left the Kingdom after working here for several years, to re-establish their contacts with Arab News. “We are happy to note that many Arab News readers who have left the Kingdom still keep in touch with us,” he said.
Al-Maeena said it was the new approach of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group to go for modernization in all forms of communications.
Speaking on the objectives of the project, Jamal Khashoggi, deputy editor in chief, said: “We want to make arabnews.com the first source of information for those who are interested in Saudi affairs. This is especially important in the wake of the Kingdom opening up its economy and in its efforts to attract more foreign investment and tourists.”
Khashoggi believed that arabnews.com could play an important role in helping the international business community understand Saudi Arabia. “It’s time for us to play our role and we will do it to the best of our ability,” he added.
Heading the Arab News online team are Gihan Ramadan, a Saudi expert in information technology and Ammar Mangorangca, an editor specialed in Philippine affairs.
In the beginning Arab News online will carry reports and features about Saudi Arabia published in its pages in addition to the “Local Press” column, that reflects local opinion on various issues, and articles published in the Islam in Perspective page.
In its electronic edition, Arab News will also highlight articles written by select Saudi writers including Editor in Chief Al-Maeena, Asharq Al-Awsat Editor in Chief Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid, Abdullah Bajubeer, Asim Hamdan, Tarek Al-Maeena and Noura Al-Khereiji. It will also publish daily reports of developments in the Saudi stock market.
Al-Maeena said arabnews online would be expanded in the near future to cover more social, economic and business activities in the Kingdom to keep international firms and executives abreast of developments in this part of the world.
“It will also endeavor to reflect the changing world and present news and reports quickly and accurately.”