International Media and Crisis Conference

King Khalid University - Media Center


In the third session of the Media Crisis Conference, the speakers opined that Twitter and other social media can be more specific and timely than official data from aid agencies or relief organizations. However, they noted, not all of this massive information is useful, and the sheer volume can be overwhelming.


Dr. Ali from the Science Academy in Sudan used Twitter as a model. He pointed out that social media and technology today has increased the opportunities for news coverage, noting that sheer volume can be overwhelming. Furthermore, Dr. Ali researched the impact of social media in comparison to traditional news resources during crises. He pointed out that the secret to the popularity of these social networks is the absence of authentic sources. He also discussed the opportunities available in social media to amplifying news through presenting models and samples from previous situations.


On his part, Dr. Dyar Syak from Al-Furkan Islamic University in Côte d'Ivoire explained that social media networks are quicksand for the spread of rumors and fake news. Dr. Dyar added that his research aims to provide legal solutions to manage rumors and false news. Dr. Dyar called on the necessity of establishing an international association to follow rumors and fake news, in addition to setting media strategies to maintaining social media content in crises.


Media and Communication Associate Professor from King Abdulaziz University, Dr. Khuloud Abdullah Melliani, maintained that social media is among the most popular sources on which Saudi youth rely on for news during crises.

King Khalid University - Media Center


His Royal Highness, Prince Turki bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Governor of the Asir Region, sponsored the 3rd annual 'Crisis and the Media' conference at the Abha Palace hotel during the 13-14 of Rajab 1440. King Khalid University Rector, His Excellency Prof. Falleh Al-Solamy, conducted the ceremony on behalf of King Khalid University. The purpose of this international conference was to discuss the various roles of the media with respect to large-scale political, geopolitical, economic and social crises. The University Media and Communication department organized the event. In the two preceding years, the media department sponsored similar international conferences on 'Media & Rumors' and 'Media & Terrorism'.


In his opening remarks, the Rector thanked His Royal Highness for his patronage and support of the conference. He also thanked all of the organizers and participants. The Rector opined that 'The international media has tremendous power and can greatly influence, or even create, significant world events. We must be prepared to engage with and respond to the international media under many different circumstances'.


The conference included a multitude of topics such as:


  • The international media's power to create or exacerbate crises;
  • The international media's power to avoid or mitigate crises;
  • The international media's penchant for misinformation/disinformation in crises;
  • Strategies for engaging with the media in crisis management.


Scientific Committee advisor and head of the Media and Communication department, Dr. Ali bin Shuwail Al-Qarni, explained that the foregoing topics are of critical importance to most every national government and major organization today. The international media landscape is broad and vast. Information proffered in many outlets is often incomplete, misleading or even false. In many parts of the world, journalism is a failing profession. Many so-called 'journalists' are really agenda driven activists, and others are simply incompetent. Dr. Al-Qarni noted that journalistic malfeasance significantly affects political, economic and social events throughout the world. Therefore, it is critical to engage with the international media to prevent or mitigate adverse consequences of misconduct.


More than 60 people representing 15 nationalities participated in the conference. In attendance were a variety of academics, Asir region government representatives and members of the domestic media. There were 10 scientific sessions and 2 panel discussions.

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