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Future Of Print, Digital Media In Focus In Saudi Arabia

Jameel Altheyabi, Editor-in-chief of Okaz and general supervisor of Saudi Gazette, attending a session at the Saudi Media Forum in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Editor-in-Chief of Okaz and general supervisor of Saudi Gazette, Jameel Altheyabi, has warned that media organizations that are not ready to adapt to changes and develop themselves will lose a lot and fail.

He also emphasized that keeping pace with the breathtaking changes brought about by the digital era and artificial intelligence is extremely necessary for media organizations to survive the stiff competition.

Altheyabi, made the remarks while participating in a session titled “The future of print media” at the Saudi Media Forum in Riyadh on Tuesday.

During the session, the eminent media figure dealt with a number of issues and answered queries pertaining to the future of print and digital media. He also proposed the solutions to meet the challenges facing media organizations in the age of artificial intelligence.

Altheyabi drew attention to the total transformation brought about by information technology in the media field.

“Today our media industry is transformed almost completely digital, and we have multiple platforms and optimizing them is a prerequisite for a better future of the media industry.

“It is not shameful for print media to transform into digital platforms, but what is shameful for them is to stand where they are without adapting to the changes,” he said.

He stressed that media organizations must keep pace with the latest developments and be ready to adapt to new changes.

Altheyabi emphasized that there is high dynamism in the media market and a bright future for media using artificial intelligence.

He noted that sober journalism is based on precedence, credibility, and reliability, which is what is lacking in many news websites. These sites do not adhere to professional standards and ethics, and do not have linguistic proofreading, review, and meticulous scrutiny based on a style book governing their editorial work.

Altheyabi highlighted that a true journalist possesses a passion for the profession and shoulders responsibility, and is capable of creating distinctive and reliable content that distinguishes him from the rest of his competitors.

He stressed that the passion of the profession will prepare a journalist to keep pace with the latest developments and challenges that eventually enable him to scale ladders of professional excellence and higher positions.

A journalist must also be able to document his information and know how to strengthen and improve his sources of information so as to prove his trustworthiness among his readers.

Referring to the vast potential of the digital media, Altheyabi said: “Even though the print media can distribute only thousands of copies at present, the circulation through their various digital platforms reached millions, according to local and international digital statistics.

“This confirms that journalism is here to stay.”

In his speech, Altheyabi alluded to the future trend of media organizations transforming into companies, and concluding of partnerships, alliances and agreements to further expand and flourish the media content industry.

In his response to questions from the attendees, the Okaz editor-in-chief pointed out that the competition today is on the use of artificial intelligence in creating content, whether text, audio or video.

“This puts newspapers in front of the challenges of this technology that will make a difference in the future of media,” Altheyabi said while emphasizing that the media organizations that cannot keep up with this development will lose a lot and fail. – SG.

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