The Qatar government is planning to allow more media outlets to come and open offices in Doha, Government Communications Office (GCO) director Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed al-Thani has said.
“We will expand what we already have, and allow more journalists to come to Doha and even open offices,” he told Gulf Times
on Friday on the sidelines of Qatar Social, a gathering of content creators in the country.
The event, held at QM Gallery Al Riwaq, brought together influencers, bloggers, vloggers, YouTubers, Twitterati, Instagrammers and Snapchatters.
Sheikh Saif was one of the resource speakers at a panel discussion titled ‘Old and New Media in the GCC Dispute’. He was joined by Conversational Century founder and CEO Elizabeth Linder and AJ+ managing director Dima Khatib.
Sheikh Saif signs on a 'Tamim Al Majd' billboard at QM Gallery Al Riwaq. PICTURE: Joey Aguilar
The GCO director said they would be working to redevelop government and legal procedures for the media aimed at making applications and granting of permits more flexible.
Apart from an expected increase in the number of media outlets in the country, he said the move would also help in effectively communicating important messages to the public.
Further, Sheikh Saif said their plan would also help eliminate confusion brought about by fake news (from external operators), as has especially been seen during the ongoing economic blockade.
The GCO will also create a media hub that will involve traditional and social media, “giving room for creativity in the social media field within Qatar as a regional hub”.
“We are starting the legal procedures right now, it will take maybe a few months, maybe the end of the year. This is something we are really focused on,” Sheikh Saif stressed.
Qatar Social, which was organised by ILoveQatar.net and gathered representatives of local community sites under one roof, aimed to put the "social back in social media" and encourage local content creators, influencers and personalities in Qatar to create, collaborate and connect.
“Now more than ever we need to unite as a community and use our collective voice through the power of social media to uplift and remind one another that we’re stronger together,” ILoveQatar.net founder and CEO Khalifa Saleh al-Haroon said in a statement.
“Our shared commonalities and bonds as Khaleeji brothers and sisters are the source of this strength and should not be forgotten during this time, when we need it most in light of regional events,” he noted.
Qatari comedian Hamad al-Amari welcomed and greeted attendees with a comedy act.