Arab Media Congress (AMC)
Arab Media Issues
As they progress into the 21st century, the Arab media in general (print, radio, TV, electronic), face complex problems and great challenges, some of which are structural and intractable, while others are emerging, making it even more difficult to understand the crisis, or to anticipate its future development in order to find the appropriate solutions. Whether we consider the print press, already battered by the economic crisis and now hardly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, which may lead to the demise of most of its titles, or whether one reviews the situation of the audio-visual landscape, whose survival is threatened by fierce competition from various platforms and social networks, the result is almost the same—the crisis is deep and comprehensive.
with the diversity of sources and the transformation of the Arab consumer into a producer, the Arab media lost a large part of their audience, especially the youth, and it also lost an important amount of its credibility, especially in the public media, due to the lack of flexibility.
In light of these major transformations and the fundamental challenges that they represent for our media, the year 2020 came up with a new challenge that burdened the Arab media and caused them a lot of hesitation and difficulty in adapting, due to the changes imposed by the Corona pandemic on the world.
To this is added the chaos of satellite channels, and the values and principles that some of them spread in society, most of which are harmful, such as fanaticism and extremism. It is sufficient to note how extraneous and hybrid values, which have become the reference, infiltrate our society, especially among our youth.
In light of the sweeping media invasion that pervades the entire region, and in which numerous Arab channels and media participate, consciously or not, and considering the great difficulties experienced by our corporations and media outlets in terms of production quality, technology, financial fragility, blurred vision and purpose, the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) considers that a pause for reflection on the Arab media situation has become an urgent necessity within specific conditions. The objective is to review the existing problems and issues and to come up with a clear vision about what needs to be done and about how to develop the Arab media, allowing them to overcome the problems at hand and play the expected role, whether in the field of news, education and culture, or entertainment and awareness raising.
This is what the Arab Media Congress (AMC) will address, by raising major problems and examining what is required to understand, confront and overcome them. This framework shall be an appropriate occasion for directly involved stakeholders for serious and responsible reflection on the multidimensional challenges faced by the media, as well as the exchange of views and experiences on possible and potential solutions.
• The Congress" will mainly take the form of a think tank.
• The dominating feature of the Congress is professionalism and addressing common issues, away from political commitments. It focuses its work on addressing the basic and major issues of the production and exploitation process in terms of content and techniques, interaction with the audience, and serving major media goals.
• The Congress includes the various components and sectors of the media in the Arab region, and its scope is not limited to radio, television or new media.
• The Congress is to be held once every two years in one of the Arab countries, hosted by one of the radio and television corporations or the ministries of information, in coordination with the Arab States Broadcasting Union.
• The Congress first session will be held under the title "Arab Media Issues", in conjunction with the twenty-first session of the Arab Radio and Television Festival (October 19-22, 2021). It will be organized in two stages:
1. The first is virtual and includes three workshops or sub-discussion seminars prior to the Congress plenary session on 16, 17 and 18 October2021. Most of the workshops are dedicated to well-known experts and professionals, especially in the Arab media arena, and each one of them studies the features of one of the main issues raised (details of the workshop topics in the attached table), and then submits to the plenary session a clear vision of the issues studied, including diagnosis to determining treatment and implementation mechanisms.
2. As for the second phase, it is devoted to the plenary session, which ASBU will host within the festival’s activities on the opening on October19, 2021, streaming it through new media.
The session will be attended by the Festival guests and a number of distinguished invitees to the occasion, with expertise in the media field.
In addition to deliberating on the topics suggested for discussion (topics are in the attached table), the plenary session discusses the visions presented to it, the recommendations of the workshops, and the relevance of their orientations to produce a work strategy or a “white book” on the topics covered, outlining general directions that would illuminates the way for decision makers, as well as references or guides to which actors and professionals in the sector can refer.
• Due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on all humanitarian activities, its effects on all media fields will be addressed by the Congress and its preparatory workshops.
• All stakeholders from the media sector will be represented in the Congress, including ministers, officials and decision-makers at the governmental level and at the level of public and private media institutions, professionals from various specializations and organizations, academics and experts, funders, representatives of civil society and civil organizations , bodies specialized in defending the interests of certain groups or minorities in society (people with disabilities, children, women, consumers, Arab communities abroad, and others),
• In order to open up to global experiences in the field and to ensure access to the latest trends and changes experienced by the global media sector, the Congress is open to the participation of a number of foreign guests including experts, professionals, representatives of international and regional professional associations, some international figures, world-renowned media institutions, representatives of equipment manufacturers and digital application developers and others.
Arab Media Congress (AMC)