The Middle East is one of the few regions in the world where daily and trade publications continue to see growth in print circulation— although not quite at the frenzied pace as in the closing years of the last decade. This is especially important for B2B-focused organisations because print publications are the primary source of business news in the Middle East.
There is a slow shift beginning to take root. According to a study from the Arab Media Forum, which analysed news patterns in the region, with a specific focus on Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Egypt and the UAE, revealed that while a majority of readers are still turning to print media, the regional political climate has led to a significant shift in news consumption to more digital sources but this is a slow evolution that is expected to pick up steam in the coming years.
The most recent study quoted the following statistics: 45.3% of respondents in the study read print newspapers only, 1 percent read online newspapers only, while 14.4% split their time between the two. When it comes to alternate means of getting news, while websites are the main source with 41% of readers going to websites, 21% are opting for mobile browsing, 17% opt for email, and 3% turn to Twitter.
Media Relations in The Middle East
According to Fawaz Al-Sirri, a quick way to understand the composition of the Arab world is to think of the Middle East as a region situated somewhere between the US, which has a more-or-less homogeneous population and everyone speaks the same language, and Europe, where almost each country has its own culture, language, government, trends, and history. This directly impacts how the press works.