How did they react to #WhatChanged as Arab News celebrates its 43rd anniversary

SOURCE: Arab News

Apr 20, 2018

  • The changes are all part of a future plan entitled Arab News 2020 to coincide with the paper’s 45th anniversary that year
  • Arab News has opened bureaus in London, Dubai and Pakistan and has hired some of the best industry talent

Arab News — the region leading English-language daily — celebrates its 43rd anniversary with a relaunch, described by Editor in Chief Faisal J. Abbas as “The biggest shake-up the paper has had throughout its 43-year history.”

The changes are all part of a future plan entitled Arab News 2020 to coincide with the paper’s 45th anniversary that year.

The paper’s metamorphosis coincides neatly with the transformation taking place in Saudi Arabia as the country embraces an ambitious reform program as part of the Vision 2030 which, among other things, is redefining the local media industry.

Arab News, which is owned by the Saudi Research and Marketing Group (SRMG), has opened bureaus in London, Dubai and Pakistan and has hired some of the best industry talent, made significant changes to its workflow structure and rewritten its editorial policy.

Here are the reactions to the change:

I think Arab News readers will not just embrace the changes to the newspaper, they will love them. If there’s one region that can adapt to change rapidly, then it’s the Arab world. The new newspaper is clean, it’s crisp, it’s modern — and those things are essential for a modern newspaper. It’s no longer enough to tell readers what happened yesterday, because this is the 21st century, they already know. They want context, analysis. They don’t just want to know what happened, but why it happened, how it happened, and how it’s going to change their lives and what it means for them — and I think any modern newspaper has to do that.

Ross Anderson

Dubai Bureau Chief

I am very happy about the new launch. I grew up with the Arab News, I used to read the newspaper ever since I was 8 or 9 and if I didn’t, my dad would always come in and ask us about headlines. It really has contributed to my sense of understanding of the world, so for me to see the change happening, the whole world, the universe is changing and when you look at it from that perspective, from a universal one then it’s bound to happen. We change, every day we’re changing skin! I think that the fact that it’s launched the way it did and, honestly, under the leadership of (Editor in Chief) Faisal J. Abbas, I think it’s going to go really high and I’m excited to see where it’s going to go next.

Lina Almaeena

Saudi Shoura Council Member

What we needed to do — after 43 years, with one of the oldest English newspapers in the region — is to give it a modern day look and feel. So what we started is to give it a revamp — from the masthead down to every single page.  And then we looked at the digital side of things as well — we revamped the website and also we looked at social media platforms.

Arkan Aladnani

Head of Operations

Congratulations to a friend and colleague Faisal Abbas, and the entire team on the launch of Arab News’ revamped edition. Change is what gives meaning to life at the break of every dawn.

Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi

Former Editor in Chief

Arab News is an old, venerable brand with lots of legacy, going back to the 1970s. The redesigned paper is bold, I think it makes a statement. I think it says here we are, we’re modern. Arab News has gone more international, we are no longer just a Saudi newspaper — there are bureaus around the world and that will increase further.

Frank Kane

Business Columnist, Dubai

I think Arab News has a big role in changing the concept of believing in youth, culture and innovation. With the new concept of Arab News, the new Arab News, I can see positive change is coming to the region, positive change coming to the youth, positive energy, lots of building the capabilities of the youth is needed more than ever. The leadership of Arab News is so powerful to give us also a great example of how change can be done.

Mona Al-Marri

Director-General of the Government of Dubai Media Office

I think the reveal (of the new Arab News identity) was done in a very professional manner, I think it was eye-catching, and it expressed everything that Arab News has to say. The new design is lovely, it has to go and continue because with changing times patterns change, you have a new audience so it has to go with the flow. The framework with Arab News was that there’s no drastic change … people can still recognize that this is the Arab News.

Khaled Almaeena

Former Editor in Chief

A sharp black and white (masthead) makes it all blunt and straight to the point, which is what takes the news to the second level. The brand says a lot, it has an ambitious, modern touch to it.

Maitha Buhumaid

Government of Dubai Media Office

If you read the newspaper 18 months ago, you would not recognize it compared with what it is today. We have built a network of correspondents around the world, we have opened new bureaus. We have employed some of the finest, most experienced journalists on the planet. And we are doing some fantastic stories and scoops and interviews with world leaders, all with an Arab slant, or reflecting on the region in some way. The Middle East is probably the most misunderstood region in the world; a lot of people have preconceptions about the region. Arab News is helping meet demand for real news about the region, and helping to address some of the misunderstandings.

Ben Flanagan

London Bureau Chief

The new Arab News is outstanding.

Tarek Mishkhas

Former Deputy Editor in Chief

How Arab News’ new bureaus and digital editions are shaping the brand’s news agenda

SOURCE: Arab News

Apr 20, 2018

  • The first Arab News bureaus to open outside of Saudi Arabia were in London, Southeast Asia and Dubai
  • Most regional stories have an international dimension and Arab News has expanded to reflect that

JEDDAH: “Arab” news, for better or for worse, is rarely solely confined to the region.

From the bloody conflict in Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to the investment moves made by the wealth funds of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, most regional stories have an international dimension — and this newspaper has expanded its global footprint to reflect that.

Before September 2016, Arab News had no global bureaus or correspondents, nor did it have a vision for growing its international audience.

Since that date, we have been creating new bureaus and recruiting new contributors regionally and internationally, as part of our “more digital, more global” strategy. This aims at attracting non-Arabic speakers across the world who are seeking specialist information about Saudi Arabia and the Arab world.

It means we can cover how the latest policy decision in Washington, a military move by Moscow, or a massive business investment from Beijing may impact the Arab world.

Just as decisions made on the global stage reverberate in the Middle East and North Africa, countries in the Arab world, notably Saudi Arabia, have ever closer ties with Western powers. Witness the ongoing visit by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the US.

The first Arab News bureaus to open outside of our headquarters in Saudi Arabia were in London, Southeast Asia and Dubai.

Award-winning journalist Baker Atyani leads the Southeast Asia bureau, with contributors in Islamabad, New Delhi, Kabul, Manila and Jakarta. Major stories from that bureau include an interview with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Our global operations are complemented by the Dubai bureau, headed by Ross Anderson and the London bureau, run by Ben Flanagan.

On top of this, Arab News also has foreign contributors across the globe, reporting to Jonathan Lessware, the newspaper’s foreign editor.

Of course, the Middle East remains a key area of interest to our editors and readers. Regional contributors include Daoud Kuttab in Amman, Hazem Balousha in Gaza City, Najia Houssari in Beirut, Suadad Al-Salhy in Baghdad and Menekse Tokyay in Ankara.

As global interest in the Arab world grows, so does our network of contributors and readership. We are connecting the world.