May 09 2012
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Arab Media Forum 2012 Examines Lack of Creativity in Content on Arab Television
Television programmes of varying genres have become the most popular information tool worldwide. Innovation, however, remains restricted with television producers unable to move away from stereotypes amidst concerns that the community is unprepared to accept change. This was the common consensus among experts during a key session on day-two of the 11th Arab Media Forum (AMF2012).
Titled 'Television Production: Where is the Innovation?'the session highlighted the lack of creativity in Arab television production.The discussion also looked into the reasons for the decline in creativity and the growing trend of copying western counterparts.
Moderated by Reem Maged, Anchor, On TV, Egypt, the session was headlined by Ali Al Rumaithy, Director of Dubai TV, and Executive Director for Radio and Television, Dubai Media Incorporated (DMI),AssaadTaha, Documentary Filmmaker, General Manager, Hot Spot Films; Fadi Ismail, General Manager, O3 Productions; Heba Hamada, Writer, Kuwait,and Ibrahim Al Ariss, Head of Cinema Section, Al Hayat Newspaper, Lebanon.
Despite the presence of more than 550 Arab satellite stations and the increase of transmission hours to facilitate new productions and ideas, there is still a basic reliance on foreign production. In this context, Fadi Ismail noted:"The reality is that TV series are still being produced in various regions of the Arab world, so it is unfair to say there is a crisis in innovation. Our programmes are a combination of local and international content and I do not believe there is any harm in benefitting from what has been achieved elsewhere."
Commenting on some of the factors that have led to a decline in creativity and innovation, Fadi Ismail added: "Viewers are not as impressionable as before; we cannot give them what they do not like. This places a great responsibility on producers' shoulders. We assume that the problem lies with factors such as availability of visuals and skills. However, financing is also a key issue making it difficult to invest in producing innovative content.
The workshop also examined television production in countries such as Turkey that draw viewersfrom across the Arab world.Looking into American programmes that command a global viewership, panelists concluded the Arab world cannot compete with international productions given the inhibitions and reservations prevalent in the region.
Highlighting the way forward,HebaHamada said:"We have been trying hard to renew the image, shapes and forms we have on screen. In reality, viewers have formed intimate relationships with these actors and situations on screen. Breaking this link will require various means with which to change perceptions."
Themed 'Arab Media: Exposure and Transition', the 11th Arab Media Forum is a two-day event that has drawn the participation of regional and international journalists, as well as influential decision makers, opinion leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators.
In the run up to AMF 2012, Dubai Press Club released the key findings of the fourth Arab Media Outlook, providing projections for the regional media sector up to 2015.
The Arab Media Forum has garnered year-on-year success through the past 10 editions, validating Dubai and the UAE's ability to host such high-profile events that draw a significant international media presence.
The Arab Media Forum is the Middle East's most prominent media event every year. Beginning in 2001 and organized by the Dubai Press Club under the patronage of H.H.Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Forum has consistently tried to facilitate in-depth debates and exchange of ideas on the media in the region. www.arabmediaforum.ae.
Dubai Press Club (DPC) is the Arab world's preeminent media development organization. Established in 1999 as per the directives of H.H.Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Club has evolved over a period of one eventful decade into the most sought after platform for heads of state, eminent government officials, intellectuals, writers and other dignitaries to reach out to the media and communicate their message. It offers unparalleled services to its journalist members. It has played a pioneering role in the development of the Arab media through a host of media development initiatives, the most vital among them being the Arab Media Forum, the Arab Journalism Award and the Arab Media Outlook. www.dpc.org.ae.
For further information, please contact:
Communications & PR Manager
Dubai Press Club
Tel: +971 4 383 34 02
Visit our website at www.arabmediaforum.ae
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