We asked for local and worldwide media personalities to consult their crystal balls and exclusively tell us their forecasts for 2011. Bertrand Pecquerie, Director of the World Editors Forum, says that with the influence of social media, users will trust first what their friends or colleagues recommend. Social media is a new experience that could cause a disruptive service to journalism, according to Bertrand.

Future Exploration Network Chairman Ross Dawson realises how media-hungry humans are and sees an extraordinarily bright future for the media industry. But organisations need to be open to change and be willing to make transitions to prepare for the massive opportunities that are available today.

Austyn Allison, managing editor of Communicate magazine, expects to see advertisers take online media, particularly social media, more seriously, and a growth in branded content.

An effective business model for all new platforms of information delivery is also one of the common desires for 2011. How to make the online sphere more profitable is still not completely resolved.

The advice for publishers in 2011 is to pay attention and be well informed about what other organisations’ competitors — both locally and worldwide are doing.

It is not a moment to hide or to be intimidated. It is a moment to learn, to share and most importantly, for action!

 Bertrand Pecquerie
World Editors Forum, Director- Paris
 Twitter and Facebook are the real disruptive services for journalism and 2011 will confirm this evolution. Before Twitter and Facebook, users consumed news through established brands: websites were a destination because the user trusted them. Today, the user will trust first his friends or colleagues and he or she will read what is recommended by them. It is a totally new experience of reading or watching news. I can see a lot of people around who have abandoned the traditional “press review of the day” and replaced it by the reading of articles suggested through Twitter and Facebook. Traditional media brands are challenged by this new behaviour.”
Kris Viesselman
Society for News Design, President/ Managing editor and Creative Director for The San Diego Union Tribune, California
We’ll continue to see media companies revise their publishing strategies. We’ll see more defined content models – and, hopefully, business models for digital platforms and delivery systems.
Edward Poultney
AME Info, Editor UAE
“I expect to see rapid growth in the number of users accessing web content through mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs, as well as a rise in the number of news and information providers across print and digital as the market sees a resurgence in advertising spend.”

Ross Dawson
Future Exploration Network, Chairman

I firmly believe that the future of the media industry as a whole is extraordinarily bright. We are discovering quite how media-hungry humans are, and we can now see that business will revolve around the flow of information and ideas. Yet a segment of the media industry — notably some of the newspapers and broadcast TV companies in developed countries — are experiencing severe challenges, not least because they have failed so far to dramatically change themselves to adapt to a new world. My fervent hope is that these organisations take the often radical steps required to transform themselves and grasp the massive opportunities available today to dynamic media participants. Some of these troubled organizations will successfully make the transition. The reality is that more will not. Those media companies that are already thriving, together with a flurry of new start-ups, will participate in creating an entirely new media space, and taking their share of the value from that. Social news curation, crowd sourced journalism, multi-platform distribution, personalized advertising and tablet media will be just some of the key trends shaping the year ahead.
Austyn Allison
Communicate Magazine, Managing Editor- UAE
The only certainty about next year is that it’s going to be another tough one. Some say the fourth quarter will see ad spend come back, and others say it will be the end of 2012 before things get better. The media landscape will have changed forever when spend does come back, though. Traditional advertising and media models will never generate the money they did in 2008, and we will see new ways emerging to capitalise on content. Expect to see advertisers take online more seriously, particularly in the social media sphere, and a growth in branded content. The lines between media and advertisers will blur, and even the lines between print, digital, mobile and television will blur. The old media is in its death throes as the new media prepares to be born. The next two years will change the way we consume content.

Gilles Demptos
WAN-IFRA, Director, Publications and Events; Editor, Asian Newspaper Focus, Singapore
Prospects for 2011 are looking quite bright. Print advertising should grow and bring good profits to traditional media companies. What I hope is that the trend of charging for some content online will develop and mature in a way that will benefit all content producers and that digital media ventures will start to generate sustainable new revenue streams. 
Niko Ruokosuo
Chief Operating Officer at Saudi Research and Marketing Group, SRMG Saudi Arabia
2011 is a year of choice for the media companies whether to continue focusing on profit and short term goals, or whether to make longer term strategic moves that serve the consumer needs and diversify the revenue base of the companies. 2011 is also a period of time when Arab media companies start seeing the tipping point of advertising revenue shifting from print to digital. Only by providing digital platforms that reach the critical masses in various consumer groups can this transition be managed with some kind of calmness and long term viability.