It?s often said that you can?t get any work done in the Middle East during the Holy Month of Ramadan because people follow a different time zone altogether. While in most cases, this is true, it is during the Holy Month that BroadcastPro Middle East secured its biggest coup ? an exclusive interview with a man who is dearly loved and revered for the transformation he has brought about in Saudi Arabia?s media landscape.
It’s often said that you can’t get any work done in the Middle East during the Holy Month of Ramadan because people follow a different time zone altogether. While in most cases, this is true, it is during the Holy Month that BroadcastPro Middle East secured its biggest coup – an exclusive interview with a man who is dearly loved and revered for the transformation he has brought about in Saudi Arabia’s media landscape.
Dr. Abdul Aziz Khoja, Minister of Culture & Information, Saudi Arabia is the man who has inspired the need for a “bureaucracy-free media” and sped up policies to deregulate the media market so that private TV and radio stations can operate in the Kingdom. He is also the man who lifted a 30-year ban on the late Saudi poet Ghazi Al-Gosaibi’s literary works.
Since Dr. Khoja assumed office as Minister of Culture and Information, we have seen a dramatic shift in policies towards the media.
Dr. Khoja is an academician and poet, who worked for several years as Saudi’s ambassador to several countries including Lebanon before taking on his new role at the MOCI last year.
Although the changes in the Kingdom are still embryonic, Dr. Khoja is quick to point out that with more than 60% of the Kingdom’s population being under 20, change is imminent and will be quicker in the coming years.
Perhaps some of his dynamism is reflected in the Saudi Ministry of Culture and Information (MOCI) itself, which works a lot more efficiently than most other regional government departments.
In his interview with BroadcastPro Middle East, Dr. Khoja comes across as an outspoken and dynamic voice who speaks boldly about the issues at hand and the initiatives undertaken by the MOCI to address them.
Deregulation and the opportunity for private channels to operate from the Kingdom will open up a gamut of new opportunities for a chain of organisations in the industry including broadcasters, suppliers and systems integrators. This, in turn, will spur competition and ensure that the Kingdom deploys the best-of-breed solutions while also creating employment opportunities for Saudi nationals.
Saudi Arabia is a large part of the pie but it’s not the only one. We look at several of the other multi-million dollar projects that are ongoing in different parts of the Middle East in this issue. The Middle East offers a multitude of opportunities for broadcast veterans looking to design intelligent systems, and IBC provides the perfect platform to discuss this.