Sessions at 9th Edition of Arab Media Forum to Highlight Arabic Channels’ Reluctance to Speak ‘Other’ Language

Published April 19th, 2010 - 10:00 GMT

Dubai Press Club, organizers of Arab Media Forum and Arab Journalism Awards, today announced two main sessions during the 9th edition will highlight the Arabic channels’ diffidence to speak the ‘other’ language and the attempts of censors to clip the wings of certain satellite channels.

To be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, AMF 2010 will be held from 12-13 May at The Atlantis-Palm.

Al Jazeera International Channel will be taken up as a case study for the session that focuses on Arabic channels’ reluctance to speak the ‘other’ language.
Maryam Bin Fahad, Executive Director, Dubai Press Club, said: “The sessions will seek to bring out the challenges Arabic channels face in speaking the ‘other’ language. It will also highlight the growing attention of many countries in the West and the East to address Arab public opinion in Arabic, a current requirement in all official conferences and media forums.

“The Arab Media Forum will particularly look into the reasons behind the Arabic media’s virtual non-existence in other languages until Al Jazeera launched its English international news channel more than three years ago. Our objective is to focus on this trend and seek answers for the absence of the Arab media’s foray into other languages.”

This session will also highlight the target audience around the world for Al Jazeera International, the extent of its success, and whether its experience will encourage others to launch similar channels.

To be moderated by Margaret Brennan, Bloomberg TV anchor and reporter, the session will host speakers including Wadah Khanfar, Director General, Al Jazeera Network, Afshin Molavi, Senior Research Fellow, The New America Foundation, James Zogby, President – Arab American Institute in Washington, Jorn De Cock, Middle East Editor, De Standaard, and Dr. Dr. Adel Iskandar, Media and Communication Lecturer, Georgetown University in Washington.

The session titled “Will the Hands of the Censors Reach the Satellites?” will aim to find the reasons behind Arab media ministers’ proposal to regulate satellite broadcasting and the move of some US Congress members to issue a law acknowledging owners of certain Middle East satellite channels as supporters of terrorist organizations.

Bin Fahad added: “As a key forum that brings to light the far-reaching changes that impact the community in the region, AMF 2010 will highlight the reasons behind the censors’ move and the attitude of the Arab governments and the intelligentsia on this issue.

“The session will identify the reactions of the Arab League’s debates for establishing a commission for Arab media to regulate the sector and promote transparency. It will also go into the significance of censorship laws and whether it is an attempt to keep content clean from provocation or racism or just a step to limit press freedom. We believe the session will adequately address the challenges posed by this trend and recommend solutions to Arab satellite media entities.”

The session will additionally feature the role of journalists’ unions and organizations in terms of protection against alleged moral and intellectual indoctrination by satellite channels, and whether the control of media is a form of establishing ’satellite policing‘ or direct censorship for intimidating journalists.

To be moderated by Paula Yacoubian, Anchor, Future TV, the session will witness speakers such as Khalid Al Nassiri, Minister of Communications of Morocco, Abdallah Kassir, General Director, Al Manar TV, Mohammed al-Khamlishi, Arab League Assistant Secretary General for Media Affairs, Dr. Mohammed Kirat, Dean ,Communications Faculty, University of Sharjah, and Dr. Yousef Al Ibrahim, Media Consultant - Qatar Media Corporation.

Further details on the workshops and speakers at the Arab Media Forum 2010 will be uploaded on and disseminated across local newspapers, news portal and agencies.

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