Continuing with its theme, Arab Media: Riding out Storms of Change, the concluding day of the Arab Media Forum 2011 provided some insight into how media is expected to evolve in the region following the Arab uprising. In a session entitled, Media in a Shifting Arab World, one of the key changes highlighted by the panel’s speakers was the rise of the “citizen journalist” – the concept of members of the public playing an active role in breaking news, as well as collecting and reporting information to professional journalists.
Prominent Emirati commentator and journalist Sultan Al Qassemi. With such a huge following on Twitter, was he tweeting updates during the Arab Media Forum? The tenth Arab Media Forum kicked off this morning in the presence of 2,400 media personalities and experts from the Middle East region, and Arabian Bytes was there to catch all the action from Day One. After being officially opened by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the two-day forum – which is taking place at the Grand Hyatt Dubai – began with a keynote speech by Egypt’s Minister of Culture, Emad Abu Ghazi (who attended after Egypt’s post-revolution Prime Minister, Essam Sharaf, apparently pulled out at the last minute).
It was John Lennon who sang: You say you want a revolution/Well, you know/We all want to change the world. There’s no doubt the world has changed in the Middle East, perhaps fundamentally. People are saying there was a time before Tunisia, and now a time after Tunisia. In other words, the peaceful revolution that provoked Tunisia’s leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to throw in the towel and flee to Saudi Arabia has changed everything in the region.