Saudi Media Awards chief unveils board of directors

Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi. (AN file photo)
Updated 03 October 2019

Saudi Media Awards chief unveils board of directors

  • The aim of the awards, which will be handed out annually, is to recognize distinguished media practitioners on a global scale

RIYADH: Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi, the president of the Saudi Media Awards, has unveiled the board of directors who will oversee the event, its rules and regulations, and ensure its independence and professionalism.

Joining him on the board are: Writer Samir Atallah; Sami Al-Nusif, the former Kuwaiti minister of information; Dr. Hashem Abdo Hashem, former editor in chief of Okaz newspaper; writer Dr. Khairiya Al-Saqqaf; writer Dr. Faten Shaker; Mohammed Altunisi, general manager of MBC Group in Saudi Arabia; Dr. Jamal bin Huwaireb, cultural adviser to the government of Dubai and director of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Cultural Foundation; Dr. Diaa Rashwan, president of the Egyptian Press Syndicate; Dr. Fayez Al-Shehri a member of the Saudi Shoura Council; and Dr. Othman Al-Sini, editor in chief of Al-Watan newspaper.

Al-Harthi said that the board will supervise the awards, including all guidelines and policies. He added that the judging process will be independent of the board; for each category, a committee has been set up to evaluate the nominees for quality, excellence and innovation.

The aim of the awards, which will be handed out annually, is to recognize distinguished media practitioners on a global scale, said Al-Harthi. The committee has received dozens of nominations, from institutions and individuals, he added, reflecting achievements and quality in the media field that deserve to be highlighted and honored. Submissions will continue to be accepted until Oct. 7.

The Saudi Media Awards, which complement the work of the Saudi Media Forum, is one of the initiatives launched by the Saudi Journalists Association in an attempt to develop media content in the Kingdom, Al-Harthi said, by stimulating competition and creativity, and honoring excellence among creators. He added that the launch of the awards marks an important step in the evolution of Saudi media, which is undergoing significant changes and tackling huge challenges.

Al-Harthi welcomed the positive reaction the awards have received from media organizations, which he said was reflected in the number of nominations received from print, radio and television outlets. He said that the organizers had studied global and regional media awards programs to help set standards consistent with professionalism, excellence and individuality. The categories will be reviewed annually by the board of directors to identify any changes or additions that are needed.

The categories for the inaugural event include: Journalism (which includes awards for political, economic, cultural, social, investigative and sports reporting, images and cartoons); TV reporting and TV dialogue; audio reporting; media application; entrepreneurial media; and public media figure of the year.

Individuals working in Saudi media organizations can be nominated for all categories, except public media figure of the year, the recipient of which will be selected by the board of directors.


US Senator Cruz: Twitter’s failure to delete Iranian officials’ accounts could violate sanctions

Updated 29 May 2020

US Senator Cruz: Twitter’s failure to delete Iranian officials’ accounts could violate sanctions

  • Cruz urged Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to open an investigation into Twitter “for possible criminal violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA)”

LONDON: US Senator Ted Cruz called for a criminal investigation of Twitter on Friday over allegations the company is violating US sanctions against Iran by not banning officials from the site.

Cruz urged Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin to open an investigation into Twitter “for possible criminal violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA),” he wrote in a letter sent to the the US Justice and Treasury departments.

In the letter, Cruz explained that he had informed Twitter of their violation of the IEEPA through two specific and active Twitter accounts belonging to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

“To this day, Twitter continues to provide services to these covered individuals, and, in an April 3, 2020 response letter, attempted to justify this decision with two untenable arguments,” he wrote.

“In early April, Khamenei and Zarif used their Twitter accounts to post anti-American disinformation and conspiracy theories, not authoritative health information. They use their accounts provided by Twitter to threaten and taunt their enemies real and imagined. In any event, Twitter’s corporate values and grave misapprehension of the threat that Khamenei and Zarif pose are irrelevant,” he added.

“The Department of Treasury and the Department of Justice should investigate what appears to be Twitter’s blatant and wilful violation of IEEPA and E.O. 13876 by providing services to Khamenei, Zarif, and other designated Iranian entities, and, to the extent appropriate, enforce any violation through sanctions and by seeking civil and criminal penalties.”