Qatar media sector focus for forum
Doha, November 13, 2012
Top representatives in publishing, electronic media, public relations and advertising gathered at a first-of-its-kind forum in Doha to assess the prospects for the development of Qatar’s media industries.
“This is the first time that Qatar’s media professionals have come together to formally discuss our industry,” said Mohamed Jaidah, chief executive officer of Firefly Communications, during the inaugural session of the Qatar Media Industries Forum, held at the W Hotel yesterday (November 12).
“The active participation here today demonstrates not only that there is an interest in greater industry-wide engagement, but also that Qatar enjoys a vibrant media scene ready for growth. Gatherings like these demonstrate the potential influence our industry could have through greater cooperation,” he added.
Northwestern University in Qatar (NU-Q) organised and facilitated the forum, headed by NU-Q dean and CEO, Everette E Dennis, whose report “Qatar’s Media Scene: Current State and Possible Future” served as the basis for discussion.
“Media attributes in Qatar, just as the rest of the country, continue to evolve at a phenomenal pace and a number of possibilities have arisen that could lead to disciplined priorities in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 roadmap,” Dennis said.
The assembled media business leaders were divided into groups for roundtable discussions, moderated by NU-Q faculty.
Each group debated one of four key sections in Dean Dennis’ report: Qatar’s existing media attributes, barriers to market entry, challenges for media development, and potential areas for media exploration.
In the discussion on media attributes, industry leaders noted that Qatar has a well-established traditional media infrastructure and that the country is making clear efforts to foster new media, led by iCT Qatar and Enterprise Qatar.
Industry participants discussed a need for clear incentives for investment in media industries, a wider talent pool, increased clarity on comprehensive media law and regulatory framework, and further encouragement for international media firms to establish operations in Qatar.
The discussion of challenges to media development involved proposals to find workable and sustainable business models for subsidized media enterprises, managing the transition to digital media for all media industries, defining the role of government media and communications channels, determining the role of local TV and radio, and expanding the magazine industry beyond luxury, lifestyle and the general business market.
“We were encouraged by the overwhelming enthusiasm we received from participants, and hope that we can translate the energy in the room today into future productive activities that will continue to build an environment of collaboration within the industry,” Dennis aid. – TradeArabia News Service
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