Al-Jasra Cultural Salon organized a lecture titled “The Rise of Media in Qatar and the Challenges of Development,” during which Dr. Khaled Al-Jaber was hosted at the Club’s headquarters in Souq Waqif, in the presence of a number of intellectuals, writers and members of the audience interested in the ongoing cultural movement.
Dr. Al-Jaber said: “This lecture deals with the history of media and communication in Qatar since inception, from the initiatives of printing poetry collections and scientific and religious books abroad in the late nineteenth century to the emergence of modern written and audio-visual means of communication, and the rise of official and private institutions. It surveys the most prominent stages of media development and discusses the challenges it has faced from the beginning to the present time.
The lecturer surveyed the beginnings of printing and publication through the printing of books and collections outside of Qatar, specifically in India, which was considered a major publishing hub at that time linking the heritage of the East and the achievements of the West. He referred to the first initiatives undertaken by the first generation as represented by the printing of the book of Founder Sheikh Jassim bin Muhammad bin Thani (may God have mercy on him) “An Epistle in Nabataean Poetry” at Al-Mustafawi Press in Mumbai, India, during the year 1907, leading to the initiative of the veteran of Qatari press, Abdullah Hussain Nima, who brought to Qatar in 1955 the first national foot-operated printing press.
The lecturer focused on the emergence of the press in its modern form and the spread of Arab and foreign newspapers in Qatar. He also reviewed the reports published by some Arab newspapers about Qatar in the past and examined the first published press release titled “Qatar Petroleum Company News” in 1960, a trailblazer in modern journalism in Qatar. This press release was issued by the Public Relations Department of Qatar Petroleum Company Ltd., followed by the launch of the official government gazette, which was issued in 1961, and by daily and weekly newspapers since the early seventies, as well as the continued emergence of newspapers well into the third millennium.
Dr. Al-Jaber also overviewed the most important, pioneering, influential and popular magazines and media publications in Qatar, most of which were issued in Arabic from the end of the 1960s to the 1970s.