Under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and in the presence of the Emir of Makkah Al-Mukarramah
Today in Makkah, Umm Al-Qura newspaper celebrates its 100th year as the oldest Saudi newspaper, under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and in the presence of Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Governor of Makkah Al-Mukarramah Region, and a group of princes, ministers, men of thought and literature.
The newspaper will tell some of its history about this gathering called for by the Ministry of Information in Saudi Arabia, and among the most prominent of these stories is that it was the first newspaper that won the honor of founding by order of the founder King Abdul Aziz, after his entry to Makkah Al-Mukarramah in 1924. And it remained from that date until the millennium Al-Jadida is one of the newspapers that possesses a strategic store of information between its pages and in its steadfast memory in the face of transformations and changes.
Umm al-Qura is a true reference for research and deduction in realities of different places and times, despite the traditional beginning that was limited to reports and some local news, a few government and civil announcements, and a summary of the health symptoms prevalent at the time, but it quickly developed with the data at the time and turned into a mechanism The publication materials in the newspaper, which began publishing local news and some international news, in addition to publishing a few poems, publishing international regulations, decisions, agreements and treaties, job advertisements and statements of imports and exports, which is what media specialists see as the actual start of Umm Al-Qura’s launch.
87 years ago, specifically in the editorial issue of 655 issued in 1356, the newspaper mentioned the principles and duties of the press and what must be dealt with within the Fourth Authority in a distinct manner in its presentation as if it was alerting to the importance of its pioneering role as the nucleus of media and journalism, which strengthened its position at the local and regional levels as a leader among its peers in the region.
The Paper Crisis and World War II
The newspaper continued this approach in its upscale presentation, with the development of the newspaper’s content to include many cultural materials, scientific and literary research, and poetic poems, as well as commercial advertisements throughout its 4 decades of life, but it went through a stage described as a real transformation in 1942, when newspapers stopped publishing Because of the paper crisis that swept the world due to World War II, Umm Al-Qura newspaper succeeded in reporting local and international events, despite reducing its pages and the newspaper’s general size, with the support of the Saudi government.
– Recorded the founder’s journey on the Dakota
It was remarkable for Umm Al-Qura newspaper its interest in issuing special supplements for an occasion or event, and perhaps the most prominent of these supplements was what was issued on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the entry of King Abdulaziz to Riyadh, and that was in its issue 1320 for the year 1369, as well as what was published about King Abdulaziz’s journey on The famous Dakota plane 75 years ago, which is the nucleus of the establishment of Saudi Arabian Airlines, and documented this in an appendix to issue 1073, which was issued at the end of Shawwal in 1364, and the newspaper changed from the yellow color that the newspaper was issued in the beginning to white, and then In 2012, it was completely colored, and the way it presented all the topics and press reports remained preserved in its content.
Umm Al-Qura newspaper took a distinct form on its front page and maintained this pattern with an editorial on the right of the first page and news or excerpts from several news spread on the rest of the page, except in some cases where the importance of the published news needs to be prominent and a headline on its front page. It is clear that the name of the editor-in-chief was rewritten, and that was in issue 4183, after a complete break from writing the name in any of the newspaper’s pages for 95 years, and the newspaper also witnessed a change in its journalistic line and writing of its design, and this continued until the beginning of the year 1433, which is described by the employees of the newspaper. It is a qualitative and actual shift in the dynamism of work that depends on technology, production, colors and editorial line in it.
– Digital architecture to keep pace with development
Prior to this movement, Umm Al-Qura recorded a qualitative movement and multiple technical moves in 2008 when its digital structure was updated to begin the content journey in it, moving digitally between its sections, and this stage included the launch of a website that went through several updates until 2021, which witnessed its last update. A phase of modernization of the digital infrastructure more broadly.
Among the developmental moves that the newspaper has undergone is what is known as the printing technique; It created the latest offset printing devices, and printing plates (ctp) devices, and then underwent updates in printing techniques until the year 1441 AH, in which Umm Al-Qura added to its printing structure the latest digital printers to contribute to the quality of printing and the multiplicity of its capabilities and products, and Umm Al-Qura is still passing through. A new development process to keep pace with technical and technical developments to proceed in an optimal manner.
– Reference for researchers and scholars
Dr. Abdul Aziz Khoja, the former Minister of Information, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Umm Al-Qura newspaper is the first newspaper issued by the founder King Abdul Aziz, and since that era the newspaper took its place in presenting topics; It was a source of various news and reports, as the newspaper was not limited to publishing royal orders and decisions issued by the Council of Ministers and following up on the recommendations of the Shura Council, but rather formed the cultural and literary taste in the country, and it was presenting many literary topics that were popular in that era.
He continued: “If he studied the reality of Umm Al-Qura newspaper in the first three decades before the issuance of (Sawt Al-Hijaz), he would find that the newspaper took the throne of media and was the only source of cultural and literary movement in Saudi Arabia, as it is the historical reference for that period, in addition to its importance in documenting everything that was done decisions, etc.
Khoja added, that we see in Umm Al-Qura newspaper the history of Saudi Arabia since its inception 100 years ago, and it is in fact a small record of the history of a great nation from the era of King Abdulaziz until today during the reign of King Salman, as the newspaper monitored the renaissance that was achieved in Saudi Arabia in its smallest details, and in my opinion. The newspaper is an important reference and source for researchers and specialists to explore information or decisions issued at different times.
The newspaper went through several turns, Khoja recalls, including the major transformation of the newspaper, during his tenure at the Ministry of Information, when he decided with the newspaper’s team to remove it from its traditional state in its general form, and put it in a new dress that corresponds to the changes taking place in 2012, as Khoja says: “We were working With rapid and strong steps in catching up with the changes on the ground, the most prominent of which was the change in the general form until we reached the current colorful form, and how happy I am that this transformation occurred when I was Minister of the Media and Cultural Movement and with the effort of all colleagues in the newspaper, stressing the need for the newspaper to continue to develop and that It takes a new direction at this stage to keep pace with the development and transformation into a digital newspaper rather than a paper or electronic newspaper.
The source of official decisions
In addition, Dr. Fahd Al-Khuraiji, a professor of political media at King Saud University, told Asharq Al-Awsat that Umm Al-Qura newspaper is dear to everyone who follows the reality of the media in Saudi Arabia, and it has gone through different stages and may have missed some opportunities, but the newspaper came to it over the years. The latter is a great improvement and good performance, and it began and was clear and evident in the interest in the press article and the investigations, as it is the source for official decisions and royal orders, and it is a good addition to the Saudi press. for its existence.
Al-Khuraiji pointed out the importance of the newspaper emerging from its traditional template, such as those newspapers that confined themselves to specific angles, including “sports, economics” and suspense news, and what the newspaper needs in the next stage is to be balanced, explaining in a simplified way what is presented of decisions and budget analysis away from numbers and clarification In multiple templates that are easy for the reader to understand, in addition to Umm Al-Qura’s need to conduct journalistic investigations, follow-up on topics and reverse the tender in a practical and field manner, and this increases the strength and solidity of the newspaper in the next stage.