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Saudi state media to focus on local talent

Public broadcasting authority says it’s ready to hire women presenters

Gulf News

Manama: The head of Saudi Arabia’s radio and television authority has ruled out hiring other Arab nationals to work for Saudi public broadcasting channels.

“We have competent Saudi nationals who can do the job,” Abdul Rahman Al Hazza said. “Those who are not qualified as per the highest standards will undergo special training to boost their capabilities because we believe that Saudi nationals should be given the absolute priorities on our radio and television channels,” he said, quoted by local Arabic daily Al Medina.

The emergence of several private television channels claiming to have a pan-Arab audience has spurred the race to hire well-known Arab presenters and producers in a bid to boost viewer ratings. However, several national channels have adopted a more cautious approach.

“We will rely on former Saudi media people who have retired as we are keen on benefiting from their rich experiences in producing and presenting programmes,” Al Hazza said. “They will also train their new and young colleagues and help improve their competence at various levels. Many have already pledged their assistance,” he said.

Al Hazza said that the broadcasting field remained open to all print and electronic journalists. “They can draw on their experience and knowledge to contribute to producing and presenting programmes. We also look forward to hiring Saudi women presenters to work in our radio and television channels. They are most welcome and we will be looking for talent,” he said.

A training centre will be set up by the radio and television authority to train Saudi, Gulf and Arab presenters, he said.

“We are still in the preparation process and we have concluded the financial and management aspects. Now we are moving towards the strategic partnership with the private sector and we have started planning programmes with the non-governmental sector,” he said.