The key theme at the 14th edition of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA 2019) Middle East Conference is around the age of the audience. From the impact of digital to the steps taken in the news and publishing industry in UAE’s Year of Tolerance, much is being discussed at the forum this year.
During his keynote address at the forum, Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of State for Tolerance, highlighted the role of media in connecting people and increasing human engagement around the world.
Dubai Production City co-hosted the conference for the third consecutive year to showcase industry trends, create awareness on best practices and highlight future solutions for media, printing and publishing.
Running at the Dubai Knowledge Park Conference Centre during March 6-7, 2019, the event drew participation of over 250 key stakeholders, publishers, journalists and industry experts from across the globe.
“The media industry plays a significant role in modern times, especially with the arrival of social media that has brought unprecedented levels of engagement. It has blurred the lines of credibility but also created new ways to connect. New media and digital publishing have given most people the ability to consume and share almost all news, information and ideas from around the globe,” said Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan.
He added, “I extend a warm welcome to all our guests, who help us promote excellence in media regionally and globally. 2019 is the Year of Tolerance in the UAE, and in this context, we have implemented several new initiatives and visions for the improvement of the country. Tolerance is not a natural state for most people, yet it has the potential to offer great economic and human benefits. This year’s WAN-IFRA Middle East Conference will feature several discussions about tolerance in the news and publishing industry.”
In his address, Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Production City said, “The UAE ranks 30th in the Digital Competitiveness Report 2018 in terms of knowledge, technology and future readiness. The country’s ambitious vision and strong leadership has made it what it is now. With the rapid technological change, publishing houses, businesses and stakeholders in the media industry are exploring new ways to harness innovative solutions to achieve higher revenues and benefit their audience.”
He added, “Today, the members of our audience are selective about the content they consume and invest in, and it is imperative that we adapt to these changes. At this year’s WAN-IFRA Middle East Conference, some of the topics under the scanner include native advertising emerging as a premium source of revenue following the decline in value of traditional advertising. Also, we aim to envision the future of newsrooms and provide solutions for businesses to address upcoming challenges in the industry.”
“The media industry has seen many changes, especially due to the rise of new and digital media and adapted to them through updating its tools and creating new ways to address the evolving requirements of the end users. Dubai has become a prime destination for events such as this conference, and the support we have received this year underlines its leadership’s commitment to advancing the media industry,” commented Dr Saleh Al-Humaidan, Chairman of the WAN-IFRA Middle East Committee in Saudi Arabia.
Held under the theme ‘The Age of the Audience’, WAN-IFRA Middle East Conference 2019 provides publishing executives and other stakeholders with an opportunity to gain insights into the latest regional and global trends in printing and publishing.
The two-day event also serves as a learning platform for young talent. This year’s edition of the conference highlights successful business models and the role of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) in driving digital revenues within media companies worldwide.