Ministry of Media’ System Keeps Pace with Hajj Season Via Advanced Technologies

Mina, The Ministry of Media' system accompanied the Hajj season of this year 1443 Hijri (2022) in its various sectors to transmit the rituals of Hajj through various written, visual and audio media as well as facilitating the tasks of representatives of the Arab, Islamic and international media agencies to transmit coverage of the Hajj season.

The Saudi Press Agency "SPA" has employed the developed technologies in the field of communication and media, including computer devices and cameras, the latest of their kind in this field to present the media material in a form of professionalism and diversity among news, reports, video interviews and live clips that coexist with the spirituality of Hajj as a major religious rite.

SPA has designated offices in the holy sites of Mina, Arafat, Muzdalifah and Al-Awali to support its media activities and tasks, aiming to distribute the tasks of news work with the movement of pilgrims and their movements among the holy sites throughout the Hajj season, and its media plan is supported by cadres of editors, photographers and new media to produce media content that is broadcast in Arabic, English, French, Farsi, Russian and Chinese languages, in addition to the official "SPA" accounts on social media platforms such as "Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and YouTube."

The Saudi Broadcasting Authority (SBA) has worked with all its human and technical capabilities to implement its operational plan, which includes multiple aspects of television and radio transmission, with regard to the rites of Hajj and the movement of pilgrims in the holy sites as for this year's Hajj season many television programs, documentaries, interviews and field reports were presented, through a network of more than 50 correspondents, while more than 10 transport vehicles were distributed throughout the holy sites, for the continuous live broadcast of the arrival of pilgrims via 150 portable and fixed cameras.

The Authority also covered the rituals of Hajj through various programs and newsletters, while a series of documentaries was shown under the title "The Pilgrimage of the Messenger" (peace be upon him), coincided with this year's Hajj season this as it reviews the stages of the Prophet's Hajj as mentioned in the authentic Hadiths in a narrated way, making the Farewell Pilgrimage an interesting and factual story that sticks in the mind.

For its part, the General Commission for Audiovisual Media issued 313 media permits during this year's Hajj season, reinforced its operational plan for this season with a control and follow-up center in the holy sites that works around the clock to provide support and assistance to the media and to supervise coverage and direct and video reports, while launching its services through the media services platform "Ealam", which included a new immediate service such as issuing media permits for international delegations, in addition to the rest of the electronic services.

The Commission provided its support to various media outlets such as local and international television and radio channels, press institutions, representative offices of international news agencies, broadcasting and media production institutions, and government agencies wishing to document their activities in the media during the Hajj season. These various services contribute to facilitating the media's tasks in covering the Hajj season, highlighting the Kingdom's efforts in serving the pilgrims, and uniting the efforts of the various parties participating in this season.

As part of its participation in the Hajj season, the Government Communication Center worked to manage the work of the Ministry of Media' system in Hajj, by holding meetings, organizing media ideas, developing and improving them in partnership with the media system, government agencies, colleges and media departments in universities, the non-profit sector and the private sector as it held more than 30 meetings of the Hajj Committee, developing more than 60 presentations, as well as preparing more than 50 media monitoring reports, and more than 15 media reports with the launch of the Media Operations Room in Makkah and the Virtual Media Center “VPO” platform to support local and international media and government agencies.

This platform included more than 784 international media professionals and more than 145 local media professionals, preparing more than 612 materials uploaded to the platform and more than 75,000 downloads and views of the platform, in addition to producing more than 50 infographics and broadcasting them through communication accounts, and publishing more than 60 videos on communication platforms, and 3 Hajj conferences were co-prepared with the Hajj system, and coordinated with more than 40 local and international media outlets, and with 30 government agencies to support Hajj activities, too.

Moreover, the Agency for International Media Relations, affiliated to the Ministry of Media empowered as many as 175 media professionals representing news agencies, television channels, newspapers, and Arab, Islamic and international radio stations to keep pace with the coverage of the Hajj season and the stages of pilgrims’ movement.

Media escorts were assigned to facilitate the performance of the hosted media's tasks and implement their media plans, and to coordinate with the Ministry's Agency for Joint Services regarding the provision of housing and food for media professionals at the Ministry's headquarters in the holy sites.

The Agency also formed several committees to govern and follow up its work, the most important of which are the committee for coordinating media programs and field visits, and the committee for coordinating meetings with officials of government sectors in the Hajj system, covering the ceremony of replacing the holy Kaaba's Kiswa.

Since the beginning of this year's Hajj season, a digital platform was launched to provide content and media services for the benefit of international news agencies, newspapers and local and international channels with high quality and translated into four languages, including English, French, Urdu and Malay, and direct transmission of Hajj press conferences with simultaneous interpretation into the four languages.

The platform also provides services answering international media inquiries.

Source: Saudi Press Agency