Forum to boost UK-Oman ties

A significant step in further strengthening the cordial relations between the Sultanate of Oman and the United Kingdom was portrayed in a day-long forum held at St. Mary’s Church Anthony’s College, Oxford University, organised by the Omani Journalists Association in collaboration with British press.
In welcoming the participants to the Symposium, Professor Eugene Rogan, director of the Middle East Centre at the university, mentioned that the Sultanate has always played an important role not only in the Gulf region but the Middle East more broadly and unique for the balance it preserves with all of its neighbors. He said as professionals with closest links to government sources and official information, we all stand to benefit from this dialogue between Omani and other global journalists, between scholars and the press.
Dr Mohammad al Araimi, Chairman of Oman Journalists Association, said the Omani Media exemplifies an achievement of modern Omani renaissance, reflecting the hopes and aspirations of the Omani people for peace, progress and prosperity. He mentioned that modern Omani media grew and developed as a result of Omani renaissance in 1970.
Professor Meera Selva, Director of the Journalism Fellowship Program at the Reuters Institute for the study of journalism at Oxford, said journalism is becoming more important but less robust, according to a new report identifying five trends about the future of journalism and their potential impact upon society. The report, “More Important, But Less Robust? Five things everybody needs to know about the future of journalism ”, highlights risks posed by growing information inequality, journalism business model, and the role of social media platforms.
Dr Toby Matthiesen, Senior Research Fellow in the International relations of the Middle East, spoke about the challenges that Arab newspapers are facing from the rise in digital and the press has an important role in this challenge. Quite apart from this, he mentioned Oman is profoundly affected by global challenges. Not least, because it has tried to play a balancing role both in the regional tensions and the conflict in Yemen. All these regional conflicts have required much diplomatic skill, and have put Oman’s regional diplomacy into the spotlight.