In the Media

Global media experts convene in Doha for one-of-a-kind symposium
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Global media experts convene in Doha for one-of-a-kind symposium

Media scholars and industry experts will convene on February 21 for the Fresh Global Media Players conference, a one-of-a-kind symposium on the reshaping of international media and communication.
Hosted by Northwestern University in Qatar, the conference will bring together media players from around the world, researchers and executives who bring new perspectives on the revolutionary change that is taking over international news and entertainment. The conference is sponsored by the Qatar National Research Fund as part of its vision to connect researchers in Qatar to their peers and colleagues, both at home and abroad.
“This gathering of visionary industry leaders and scholars was the brainchild of two NU-Q faculty members, Joe Khalil and John Downing, who are experts on the Middle East and global media, respectively. The symposium will be a forum for a productive, illuminating exchange of ideas on the topic of emerging media trends,” says Everette E. Dennis, dean and CEO of NU-Q. “The new global media players are looking beyond national borders and redefining the interplay of content, distribution and audience. It’s a dynamic industry that is changing before our eyes.”
Joe Khalil, NU-Q associate professor and conference co-organizer, describes the industry forces that are transforming the media landscape: “Today people around the world watch content produced in or influenced by the Middle East. The Arabworld has joined the global conversation with a clear and distinct voice, but research on global media has not kept up with the times. Conference co-organizer and NU-Q professor John Downing adds: “This conference will explore the redistri­bution of world communication power from fresh vantage points, examining new voices and innovative players.”
The slate of speakers includes John Sinclair, global advertising expert from the University of Melbourne; Tristan Mattelart, professor of intellectual property and piracy trends, Université de Paris 8; and Annabelle Sreberny, co-author of Blogistan, the Internet and Politics in Iran and professor in global media and communication at the SOAS Centre for Media Studies, University of London.
Yaser Bishr, executive director of strategy and development at Al Jazeera Media Network, will deliver the capstone media industries address at a public lunch on February 21, 2015. Bishr is leading the network’s transformation from a regional broadcaster to a global digital media player. Bishr’s speech, The Economics of the News Business and the Challenge of Innovation in the Age of the Digital Dimes, offers both a snapshot of the news business today and a look ahead to where the industry is heading.
NU-Q places a strong emphasis on the research of media and communication in the Middle East. Later this spring, NU-Q will release Media Use in the Middle East: A Six-Nation Survey that tracks the habits and behavior of news and media consumption in the region. The survey follows last year’s Entertainment Media Use in the Middle East: A Six Nation Survey that focused specifically on the region’s entertainment media consumption, and Parsing “Arab Spring”: Media Coverage of the Arab Revolutions, an occasional paper by NU-Q journalism associate professor Ibrahim Abusharif.

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