A call for professionalism in Arab media
Dubai - To achieve a high level of professionalism, Mohammed said that media CEOs need to invest in people.
The Arab Media Forum began with a call for Arab media outlets to invest in creative talent and raising their professional standards.
"Media is facing a crisis of professionalism in the Middle East," said Yasser Abdel-Aziz, a prominent writer from Egypt, during the opening session 'Media that impacts Humanity'.
The session, which was moderated by MBC Anchor Yasser Al Amro, included Mohammed Al Nughaimish, a writer with Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper.
Al Amro began the session with a question: "Is the media a mirror reflecting the society?"
"Yes, we are a window to what is going on in society," Mohammed answered, adding that "media should play a vital role in raising awareness as people need responsible media to provide them with in-depth analysis and entertainment as well".
To achieve a high level of professionalism, Mohammed said that media CEOs need to invest in people.
"Creativity is endless. But where is the incentive?" he asked.
Yasser said the media, as a mirror, is different in every country of the diverse region.
"There are countries where media reflects a very different situation than that on the ground. In others, they do reflect reality. In the Arab World, media can reflect what is going on, but not yet thoroughly," he said.
The speakers also noted a trend that started in the West to cover humanitarian stories that are not negative, such as stories of disables people who overcome challenges to reach success, or how to lose weight or about holiday destinations.
"But media cannot adopt just one aspect of life. It has to reflect reality, positive or negative. We cannot eliminate reality... We should choose stories that are in the public interest - whether they are positive or negative," Yasser said.
Talking about social media, Yasser characterised it as "informal media".
"There are a lot of opportunities, but also a lot of challenges. We cannot yet say that social media advantages are greater or not. But it has opened new horizons," he said.
The speakers suggested that the formal or conventional media outlets should focus on developing professionalism while the focus on social media should be on enhancing its positive impact.