Arab Media Forum to examine industry in ‘Bassem Youssef era’

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The Arab Media Forum (AMF) is set to examine the role of industry figures like satirist Bassem Youssef, as the industry undergoes a transition in the post-Arab Spring era, its organizer said.

The 12th edition of the forum, which begins today in Dubai, features 250 media figures from over 25 countries, and is held under the theme ‘Arab Media in Transition’.

Maryam bin Fahad, deputy chairperson of the AMF organizing committee, said that a panel held on Wednesday will examine the role of satire in the media.

“The style of commentary – where you could look at the political scene and comment on it in a sarcastic way – was not there in the Arab media industry before,” bin Fahad told Al Arabiya.

Bassem Youssef, the Egyptian satirist, is set to appear on the panel along with media representatives from CBC, Al Watan and Emarat Al Youm.

Bin Fahad described the prominence of media figures such as Yousef as a “new era” for the industry.

“People have changed and now they want to see something different,” she said. “If you look at the Arab region, it’s all going through a transition period. We don’t know how it’s going to look at the end.”

Dr. Ahmed Al Tayeb, the Imam of Egypt’s Al Azhar mosque, will deliver a keynote speech during the opening ceremony. Dr. Nabil Al Arabi, Secretary General of the League of Arab States and Dr. Abdul Latif Al Zayani, Secretary General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, will partake in discussion sessions.

The Al Arabiya news channel is partnering with the AMF to present a panel on digital media. Experts and top media officials from Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Tunisia and Lebanon will be taking part in that session.

Professionals from Dubai Media Incorporated, Sky News Arabia, Thomson Reuters and Egypt TV will also be in attendance, according to the organizer.

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