RIYADH (Rahnuma): Government ministries of information no longer serve any purpose and should be abolished, a senior member of the Saudi royal family said on Tuesday.
Prince Turki Al-Faisal was speaking at the day-long Misk Media Forum in Riyadh, in conversation with the UK bureau chief of Al Arabiya News Channel, Rima Maktabi.
“In my humble opinion, the information ministries no longer serve the same purpose they used to,” Prince Turki said.
“In the era we currently live in, anyone can report the news simply by using their cell phone. I would hope that people who work to do so would always be honest about it, but I believe that information ministries no longer have a purpose.”
Prince Turki said social media could benefit the population if it was used correctly.
“We cannot prevent the dissemination of information, and any attempt to ban social media will not be successful. What we must do is regulate its use and hold people accountable,” he said.
The prince also had a message for young people.
“You’re the future, and you’re the ones who will realize our aspirations. I congratulate you on your ambitions and aspirations and I hope to live long enough to witness them come to fruition,” he told them.
The Misk Foundation is a non-profit philanthropic organization established by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. It was founded to empower Saudi youth by providing them with opportunities for furthering their education and experience in the fields of technology, creative and digital media, the arts and culture.
The forum was created to connect social media entrepreneurs with established digital visionaries and leaders, allowing them to learn from their experience and gain insight.
Speakers and panelists included Mina Al-Oraibi, editor-in-chief at The National newspaper in the UAE, Khalid Aboshaibah, head of digital media at the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre, and Saudi social media content creator Hitham.