Emirati Media Forum: Is conventional media dead or not?
The inaugural Emirati Media Forum today saw a debate on whether social or new media has killed off conventional media like newspapers and TV or has just dealt it a glancing blow.
"Newspapers in the print form are close to being obsolete - if they do not utilise electronics news," declared panellist Ali Jaber, Dean of Mohammed bin Rashid Media College at the American University in Dubai.
"In fact, conventional media - both Newspapers and Television - are facing difficulties. Even in TV, we are feeling the impact of new media. Newspapers and Magazines are behind TV in terms of adapting to new media," he stated.
Other panellists and audience members reacted immediately, stating that new media may be a challenge but it is not a threat to conventional media.
"Social media has liberated conventional media," said Dhaen Shaheen, Director-General for Publishing at Dubai Media Inc. and Editor-in-Chief of Al Bayan Arabic Newspaper.
He said social media has speeded up delivery of news. "It is a new vessel that needs to be utilised to serve conventional media. The Editorial can be a hybrid providing news through several channels - through Website, Facebook, Twitter as well as Newspaper.
"True, social media is a challenge, but it also opens up wider horizons in communicating with the worldwide community," Shaheen said.
Abdulla Al Nuaimi, New Media Specialist, however, felt that there is no need any more to read conventional newspapers.
Al Nuaimi said new media has provided him with much more than conventional media. New media can address issues immediately and get feedback quickly," he said.
Khaled Al Khaja, Dean of Mass Communication and Humanities College, Ajman University of Science and Technology, said that conventional media institutions are facing challenges from new media, but he was of the view that they will be able to overcome them.
"Conventional media can compete in terms of credibility that social media sometimes lacks.
He said conventional and new media play a complementary role.
Ahmed Al Hashimy, First Vice-President of Communication and Brand at Etisalat felt new media is not a threat to conventional media.
"I am of a generation that grew up with conventional media, but my 15-year-old son never reads newspapers because he is from the digital age.
"Today, we have media channels for different age groups." Al Hashimy pointed out that they newspapers started to adapt to social media and have started using it as a part of core business. "The challenge will be in the long run." The concluding session of the Emirati Media Forum on The Role of Social Media in Reshaping the Emirati Media Scene' was moderated by Nour Aldin Yousuf of Dubai Media Inc.