Arab female journalists face up to industry challenges at Riyadh seminar

Some of the participants at the seminar in Riyadh on Wednesday. (AN photo by Basheer Saleh)
Updated 28 November 2019

Arab female journalists face up to industry challenges at Riyadh seminar

  • New reporters should be trained for a full year before starting work to give them a better understanding of the job, Jordanian participant suggests
  • One issue raised was the reluctance of employers to hire journalists who have young children 

RIYADH: Ways of overcoming some of the challenges and prejudices faced by female Arab journalists topped the agenda at a Saudi conference on Wednesday.

Women writers from throughout the Middle East and North Africa region gathered at the headquarters of the Saudi Press Agency in Riyadh for the third session of the Arab Female Journalists seminar.

 Shoura Council member and honorary guest, Nora Al-Shaaban, joined delegates in hailing the increased presence of women in the media sector, but said: “Female journalists have ambitions and it’s their right to achieve them.”

Yemeni journalist Ahlam Abdul Raqeeb participated in a panel — moderated by secretary-general of the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA), Dr. Fareed Ayar — which looked at the professional obstacles that Arab women journalists were sometimes confronted with and how to address them.

Conference delegates were told that Abdul Raqeeb was arrested in Yemen for six days because of her work and was constantly threatened. She escaped her home country with her children after contacting Saudi authorities a few years ago.

In Sudan, more women were being hired into leading roles, said Saeeda Hamat, a Sudanese journalist with the Sudan News Agency.

“Sudanese women hold executive positions in ministries as deputy ministerial advisers, and with the December revolution in Sudan, we now have female ministers. We are progressing. We do not have any obstacles in front of us. Do not cry over spilled milk and stop looking to the past but toward the future,” she told the gathering.

Samiya Al-Saayda from the Jordan News Agency (Petra) suggested that new reporters should be trained for a full year before starting work in order to give them a better understanding of the job. “You wouldn’t let a doctor perform surgery without training and the same goes with ethical journalism.”

Mothers in newsrooms was another issue raised in the same session, with employers often reluctant to hire them.

 


Dubai-based boutique agency Means Design launches PR arm

Updated 24 September 2020

Dubai-based boutique agency Means Design launches PR arm

  • Move comes as the agency signs hospitality clients the Meydan Hotel and Bab Al-Shams Desert Resort & Spa on a PR retainer
  • Means Design Managing Director Lama Accary Bibi: Creativity should be the essence of any marketing and communications company

DUBAI: Means Design, an independent Dubai-based boutique full-service marketing and communications agency, has officially launched its PR arm. The move comes as the agency signs hospitality clients, the Meydan Hotel and Bab Al-Shams Desert Resort & Spa on a PR retainer, in addition to their existing creative and social media agreement.
Launched in 2012, Means Design was founded as an offshoot of its sister company Means Marketing, a traditional marketing agency founded in 1984, with a strategic focus on bringing creatively led solutions to clientele. 
Servicing clients across hospitality, lifestyle, beauty, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) and dining sectors, Means Design’s roster includes Raffles Dubai, Rotana Hotels and Resorts, the soon-to-be-launched Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, luxury beauty and skincare brand Mollagara, red-carpet designer Rami Al-Ali, food-and-beverage titans Americana Group (TGI Fridays across the region, Red Lobster and Olive Garden), Aprons & Hammers and Café Society.
“This move is a natural one as we’ve always streamlined our communication across all verticals,” said Means Design Managing Director Lama Accary Bibi.
“What sets us apart is that we were founded as a creative agency. Creativity should be the essence of any marketing and communications company. Hence, we believe in telling impactful stories founded on creativity and strategic thinking. Innovation has always been key and today, companies need to step up their game in order to weather the current situation,” she added. 
“Our PR team has what it takes to understand what makes the media and the market pulse, and with the signing of the Meydan Hotel and Bab Al-Shams across all services, we’re thrilled to see what this launch brings for the team at Means Design.”