Posted on March 19, 2018

The Department of Mass Communication at Qatar University College of Arts and Sciences (QU-CAS) hosted its second media symposium titled “Arab Media in Light of the Current Political Changes” on March 19-20. The event aimed to highlight the structural and referential changes of the Arab media in light of the current political changes and to study the level of independence of Arab media and its development within the context of change and reform.

Attending the opening ceremony were Head of CAS Department of Mass Communication Dr Noureddine Miladi and CAS Gulf Studies Center (GSC) Director Dr Majoob Zweiri, as well as CAS faculty and students. The event brought together speakers from QU, Al Jazeera Centre for Studies, Al Jazeera Channel, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera. net, Al Sharq Newspaper, Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, The Peninsula Qatar, and Primary Health Care Corporation. They shared their knowledge and expertise on the issue of democracy in Arab media, and the levels of coexistence between social media and traditional media in approaching the Arab political and social reality.

The first day featured three sessions moderated by CAS Professor of Public Relations and Chair of the symposium’s organizing committee Prof Mohamed Kirat, Dr Noureddine Miladi, and CAS Professor of Mass Communication Prof Basyouni Hamada. Discussions focused on a wide range of topics such as “Arab Journalistic Professionalism: Lessons from Egypt and the Gulf Crisis”, “Messengers and Villains: The Roles Played by News Outlets in the GCC Crisis”, “Arab Media in Light of the Current Developments: Freedom and Responsibility”, “Politics and Humanities in Arab Media”, “The Political Changes in the Arab World and the New Media”, “Arab Media and Professionalism”, “The Challenges Facing the Professional Values Between Traditional Media and Alternative Media in the Arab Region after the Revolutions of the Arab Spring”, “The Symbiotic Relationship Between Media and Terrorism”, and many more.

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The second day included three sessions moderated by CAS Assistant Professor of Online Journalism Dr Kamal Hamidou, CAS Associate Professor of Mass Communication Jamel Zran, and CAS Associate Professor of Public Relations Dr Mahmoud Galander. Discussions focused on “Misinformation of the Siege Countries”, “The Violence of Language in the Culture of the Blockade”, “Media Values during the Blockade”, and “The Role of the Qatari Media in Shaping the Trends of Citizens Towards the Government’s Efforts to Face the Effects of the Blockade”, and many more.

Dr Noureddine Miladi said: “While maintaining media outlets responsible of the interactions within the political changes, many of the aspects related to the relation between crises and media remain vague. Do all media outlets have the same influence on crises? Do they have the same impact on the current situation in the region? What is the impact of the political developments and changes on media? Did they affect the foundations of its ethical principles and professional activity? This symposium addresses the correlation between media and the current changes that are happening worldwide and serves to provide relevant outcomes that are of the benefit of the Arab media, especially at a time when the Arab world is undergoing a phenomenon of distortion, misinformation and confusion.”        

Prof Mohamed Kirat said: “This event provides a detailed overview about the Arab media in light of the current political changes. It comes at a time when Qatar is facing the unjust and illegal blockade imposed by the neighboring countries and serves as a significant platform for media experts in Qatar to discuss and assess the Arab media after the Arab Spring and during the current Gulf crisis. This underlines CAS commitment to shed light on relevant issues and to provide effective solutions to the challenges that are facing the Qatari society. We look forward to the expert recommendations that will emerge from the symposium’s discussions.”