DUBAI: Veteran Saudi journalist Khaled Almaeena received a lifetime achievement award on Tuesday at the second International Media Gala (IMG), organized by Arab News in Dubai.
The event coincided with the first day of the Arab Media Forum.
Khaled Almaeena served as editor in chief of Arab News twice — between 1982 and 1993, and again between 1998 and 2011 — and in November 2016 was given the honorary title of “editor emeritus.”
He has held a broad range of positions in Saudi media for almost 30 years, including the editorship of Saudi Gazette newspaper, CEO of a PR company, TV anchor, talk show host and radio announcer. Early on in his career, Almaeena held a series of senior positions at Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia).
Arab News’ current Editor in Chief Faisal J. Abbas presented the award on behalf of SRMG Chairman Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Farhan to Almaeena in recognition of his achievements in the field of media.
It is the second such award to be delivered, with Othman Al-Omeir — former editor in chief of the Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper and founder of Elaph, the Arab world’s first online newspaper — being honored at the event a year ago.
Khaled Almaeena, 63, was dubbed the “People’s Editor” during his tenure at Arab News.
Under Almaeena’s watch, the paper developed strong ties with its readers, sometimes fighting causes on their behalf — including cases where people were wrongly sent to jail.
“It was a 24-hour job,” the former editor said in an interview last year. “People would come to my house, saying that their sponsor hadn’t paid their money (or) the police had done this or that.”
Almaeena is now managing partner of Quartz, a communications company, and a director at Abeer Medical Group.