DUBAI: KT Abdurabb
Published — Wednesday 27 February 2013
Last update 27 February 2013 3:58 am
The Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) will be expanding its portfolio at different levels including print, new media and digital platforms, said Abdulwahab Al-Faiz, CEO of Nashr, SRMG, while addressing the Middle East conference of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN IFRA) in Dubai yesterday.
Over 300 media personalities from 24 countries have been attending the two-day event that kicked off at the JW Marriott yesterday by Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai.
“The media trend has been changing vividly. As a key player in the region, Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG) will be focusing more on new media and digital platforms,” he added.
“SRMG is a company with a great sense of social responsibility. We have been exploring new ideas that satisfy readers, because technology is leading the media,” he further added.
Al-Faiz also added that the WAN IFRA conference is extremely useful as it is a great opportunity for a wide exchange of ideas.
Speaking to Arab News, Dr. Mario Garcia, CEO & Founder of Garcia Media Group Inc, USA, said the print media in the Gulf region has been performing well as compared to the United States. “Here in the region, print media is still performing pretty well, but the situation in the US is different and it is in decline,” he told Arab News.
Dr. Garcia, an expert in redesigning newspapers and who collaborated with over 700 news organizations, discussed a variety of platforms, such as mobile, online, print and tablet technology in his session entitled ‘Print and the power of disconnect’.
A panel moderated by Peter Lamb, a strategy consultant from Florida, discussed the current situation and latest trends in the media industry. The discussion, entitled ‘The Middle East in 60 minutes’ thoroughly covered different areas of the media in Egypt, Jordan, UAE, Saudi-Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait.
Khalid Abdul Rahim Al Sayed, editor-in-chief of the Peninsula English daily in Doha, said new media will have a great role in Qatar as distribution of the newspapers will be in trouble. Within 15 years, the physical distribution of the newspaper will be difficult in Doha due to traffic jams and congestion and people will inevitably depend on new media, he added.
In addition, the paper will also create environmental issues, he said.
Other senior media personalities from the region, including Mohammad Alayyan, publisher and chairman at United Jordan Press, Rania Al Malky, publisher at The Egypt Monocle, Mohamed Al Hammadi, editor-in-chief of the National Geographic, UAE, Madi Abdullah Al-Khamees, general-secretary of the Arab Media Forum, Kuwait, Waleed J. Kattan, director general of Okaz Organization for Press & Publication, and Ahmad Al Hammadi, CEO for Commercial & Marketing Affairs at Dubai Media Incorporated, also joined in the discussion.
In his speech, WAN-IFRA President Jacob Matthew said that Dubai is one of the world’s greatest cosmopolitan centers. “Dubai is a metropolis of magical towers that lead toward heavens,” said Matthew.
Saleh Al Humaidan, managing director of the Al-Yaum Media House and chairman of the WAN-IFRA Middle East Committee, Vincent Peyrègne, CEO of WAN-IFRA, and Mohammad Abdullah, managing director at Media Cluster – TECOM Investments, also spoke at the opening.
Eamonn Byrne of The Byrne Partnership Ltd. and Kelso Roxburghshire, UK, gave insight in their presentation ‘The Future of The Newspaper/News Media Company’.
In today’s session, Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi, editor-in-chief of Arab News, Sayidaty and Al-Jamila will present a topic entitled ‘Free is what pays’. The discussion will be based on Sayidaty’s content provision philosophy toward free content and its effect to generate more revenue streams.