Definition, unification and regulation — these were the key words that cropped up repeatedly during the panel discussion to highlight the outcomes of the fourth Arab Media Outlook 2011-2015 released last week in Dubai.

The event, organised by Dubai Media City and Dubai Press Club, left attendees in no doubt that the Arab media needs space to have an open conversation about itself.

While technology today allows the processing of data faster than at any other time in history, there are still so many questions to be asked and studies to be done.

The Arab Media has, of course, realised that the regional scenario has changed out of sight. Any citizen can now be a putative media producer; women have a strong role in the industry; and the revolutions are the most important signal that people know — and want — their rights.

The scenario calls for new definitions — what’s local media? What’s local content? Is the local content good enough?

These are some of the questions raised in the panel discussions and the answers tended to revolve around media unification. A standardisation of definitions, media words and concept are the needs of the region, and not based on overseas criteria.

Another important issue raised is the kind of incentives and investments for regional start-ups and new content and technology talents.

What we see, what we read and what we listen reflect our culture. Not only for Arab media, but in general it is important that the perception of media responsibility exists.