Like many places in the world, Saudi Arabia’s media landscape is going through rapid change, primarily brought about by digital technology and the rise of social media – internet penetration rate is estimated at around 65% overall and 93% among Saudi nationals. While traditional media still has a strong footprint and is unlikely to be pushed aside any time soon, legacy media organisations are being forced to rapidly develop their digital offerings in order to maintain their market share. The regulatory environment for media in Saudi Arabia, which many consider among the strictest in the Middle East, also needs to adapt to the new digital reality. There are signs that change is happening, with a new minister of culture and information appointed in 2015 and the potential establishment of a media production city in the Kingdom, which could help to train a new generation of Saudi journalists.
This chapter contains an interview with Adel Al Toraifi, Minister of Culture and Information.