(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The 18th annual Arab Media Forum came to a fitting end as winners of this year's Arab Journalism Award were honoured by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Arab journalists, photojournalists, caricature artists and newspaper publishers were given top honours at the function, touted to be the 'Pulitzer of the Arab world'.
Mohammed Jassem Al Sager, owner and publisher of Kuwaiti newspaper Al Jarida walked away with the title 'Personality of the Year'.
The best columnist Award was snagged by Dr Abdel Monem Saeed of Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm. Speaking to Khaleej Times after his victory, Dr Saeed said: "I am very happy about the award. After working as a writer, producer and a television anchor systematically and regularly for 45 years, I feel like the long journey has been rewarded."
He said the Arab Journalism Awards are like the Arab Pulitzer, and he feels a great amount of pride in winning the award. Speaking about the direction media in the region is taking, Dr Saeed said: "The winners were from all across the region. We had journalists from Morocco, Egypt, and Iraq. This means we are not ignoring what is happening in the world of media and social media. I prefer calling it 'social interaction."
He advised young Arab journalists to 'Read, read, and read', and take a deeper look at the outside world. He is happy about the direction, which journalism in the Arab region is taking, and there will be a time when media will no longer be state-controlled. "When and how that will happen is the question."
Dhanusha Gokulan Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88