The second session of the conference discussed the effects of traditional media compared to the role of new and social media in politics and society. It also discussed how the Arab World is portrayed today in international media and whether it is factual or speculative.
The participants in the discussion included, Adel Darwish, commentator, British historian, writer and political editor; Anthony Podesta, political media specialist in the US and founder of the Podesta Group for Communication and Political Promotion; Jihad Al-Khazen, former editor of Al-Hayat newspaper; and Pulitzer Prize-winner Judith Miller of the New York Times.
The media, especially the so-called new media, or social media, played a prominent role in the conflicts and changes that took place in the region after 2010, to the extent that it was a driving force behind the street movements and affected public opinion at times, according to the participants.
The session discussed the role of traditional and modern media and the types of international media conglomerates facing local media outlets, and whether they have become a means of common understanding or a tool to widen the gap. The session also tackled the role of the media in reshaping politics in the Arab World today.
The speakers also analysed the impact of American media on shaping US policy towards the Arab World. The session also discussed Daesh’s use of social media and how to confront it.