FIRST AL ARABIYA FORUM ‘THE CHALLENGES: ACADEMIA AND MEDIA’ FOCUSSED ON THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN ACADEMICS AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS
The first Al Arabiya Forum, entitled: “The Challenges: Academia and Media”, held on Wednesday, 21 June, concluded with recommendations that requires media and academia to develop a dialogue and work in closer cooperation to provide effective vocational training that will reflect the diversity and technical nature of the 21st century media, eventually, assisting to elevate the standard of professionalism in the Arab media industry to an international level.
The forum was an initiative taken by Al Arabiya TV that brought together the region’s leading media professionals and academics to debate on issues facing the education and media industry in the region.
At the end of the conference, Dr Nabil Al Khatib, Executive Editor of Al Arabiya and Chairman of the Forum, summarized the following recommendations that are specific to media organizations and academic institutions:
Recommendations for Media:
1. A need to set up specialised committees in Information schools and departments, which would discuss on the basis of a comprehensive market study, the training provisions required for fresh graduates before they join work
2. Academic programs should be designed to suit the current market situation as well as create more options for vocational and practical media training
3. Universities should focus on general knowledge and foreign languages
4. Information and communication majors should aim to diversify and include more majors than mere journalistic writing. for e.g.:
- Computer editing
- Graphic design
- Directed thesis theories
- Copywriting and concept creating for advertisement
Recommendations for Academia:
1. Pro-active involvement from media organisations to train media students
2. Create a platform where academics are periodically updated about the current needs of the market and the transformation occurring in the industry
3. Provide colleges and universities with the necessary technological support to set up laboratories and newsrooms on university campus
4. Invest a percentage of the advertising profits in creating and updating training programs for students
Both industries also suggested creating an e-forum that would continually look at the issues dealt during the conference and monitor the progress of the recommendations.