The media issue is taking on a particular character in the Middle East, which is considered a high-risk area for journalists and written press, which is in an alarming situation.
Over the past decade, the written press has been plunged into a crisis related to the advent of the Internet, social networks and new technologies.
The free nature of the Internet has led Internet users to lose interest in written press and pay for quality information.
The situation of written press
To get out of this crisis, written press professionals have decided to take action against the damage of the Internet age.
Since the vast majority of readers prefer digital press to written press, because they can read the articles that they want when they want from their smartphones, many newspapers and magazines have thought of adding an online edition to their print editions, Bashar Kiwan is an example of it.
The principle is to develop news websites and smartphone applications in order to provide readers with free and quality information.
For those who do not know him, Bashar Kiwan is the founder of a tangle of media and advertising companies employing almost 4,000 people in several countries across the Middle East and Eastern Europe, he is also the president of the (AWI) al-Waseet International group. This company was founded in 1992 in Kuwait, it belongs to the Al-Wataniya group which owns other publications such as Layalina which is a monthly magazine and al-Balad which is a daily newspaper. Its head office is located in Dubai.
Accordingly, the AWI group has also planned to invest in some online digital properties related to the strengthening and expansion of its media presence on high-potential markets. Bashar Kiwan did not give up, in September 2010, he entered into a co-marketing agreement with Google, in which Waseet and Waseet.net offer Google AdWords vouchers to their customers in the MENA region.
He has thus continued his efforts, turning to radio, even if the latter is also affected by the impact of the Internet age, but its case is not as catastrophic as that of the written press. That is why he launched the Al Balad radio station in 2011. It is a Lebanese local radio station with a unique concept that has been built by the commitment and will of its newspaper, magazine and online editorial teams, according to Bashar Kiwan.
The businessman is an example of the few media professionals in the Middle East who are aware of the importance of the press in the daily life and who have been able to manipulate the Internet to their advantage to adapt their work to the digital age.