Civil unrest in the Arab world has prompted a boom in demand for media monitoring in the region. Non-Arab governments and big companies have shown great interest in analyses of press and TV broadcasts from the MENA region says Mazen Nahawi, the CEO of Media Watch Middle East.
The company, which monitors news from print, TV, radio and internet sources, has seen a rise in “direct requests to understand what is happening in the areas of unrest”, said Mr. Nahawi. “Our international orders have doubled in the last six weeks. We’ve had interest from Asian governments, European governments and a lot of fortune 500 companies,” he said. “It has been an important boost to our business, not only because people want to monitor a lot more, but because people want to analyses much more.”
Mr. Nahawi attributes this directly to the upheaval in Egypt and Tunisia, and unfolding events in Libya, Bahrain and other Arab states. While the increase in demand comes from foreign governments and businesses, Mr. Nahawi said he expected more work from Arab clients. “I’m sure the governments regionally are in a state of introspection and, if there are going to be requests from them, it will probably be when the dust has settled,” he said. “We’re re-entering the world formally as a free people and that is an amazing thing. On a business level, free people want data and information, and businesses and governments will be keen to know what their people are thinking.”
Media Watch has several Arab governments among its clients. “We have at least 50 government departments in the UAE from Abu Dhabi Municipality to federal institutions…We have governments around the region,” Mr. Nahawi said.