General Authority of Media Regulation

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General Authority of Media Regulation
Agency overview
Formed2012
JurisdictionSaudi Arabia
HeadquartersRiyadh, Saudi Arabia
Agency executive
Parent departmentMinistry of Media
Websitehttps://www.gamr.gov.sa/

The General Authority of Media Regulation (Gmedia or GAMR; Arabic: الهيئة العامة لتنظيم الإعلام) is a government organization in Saudi Arabia. It was founded in 2012 originally as the General Commission for Audiovisual Media (GCAM), and is responsible for the development, regulation, and supervision of audio-visual media transmission, publication, and overall media content within the state.[1][2] The General Authority of Media Regulation reports to the Ministry of Media and is independent in terms of finance and administration.[1] As of December 2022, Abdullatif bin Mohammed Al-Abdullatif (عبداللطيف بن محمد العبداللطيف) has been appointed as CEO of the General Authority of Media Regulation.[3]

History[edit]

The General Commission for Audiovisual Media (Arabic: الهيئة العامة للإعلام المرئي والمسموع) was founded following decision no. #236 of the Council of Ministers on 21 Rajab 1433 AH (11 June 2012). In Shawwal 1433 AH (September 2012), the organisation of General Commission for Audiovisual Media was approved, which includes having a board of directors headed by the Minister of Culture and Information (or presently the Minister of Media as of 2018).[4]

In September 2023, to comply with Saudi Vision 2030, the Council of Ministers have approved to reorganise the General Commission for Audiovisual Media to include regulation for publication media, subsequently transforming the agency into the General Authority of Media Regulation.[5][6] By December 2023, the Ministry of Media has revealed the strategy and corporate identity of the General Authority of Media Regulation.[7]

Responsibilities[edit]

Gmedia conducts and regulation and policies audiovisual activities in accordance with Kingdom’s “media policy” as well as provides related services to facilitates the content broadcasting.[8] furthermore, it issues and manages licenses for audiovisual media transmission and content.[8][1] Gmedia is also responsible for technical issues and specifications related to the media such as providing the approval for the frequency spectrum, media transmission devices.[8]

Saudi cinema[edit]

In December 2017, the General Commission for Audiovisual Media (now Gmedia) chaired by Ministry of Culture and Information (currently Ministry of Media) announced the re-opening the cinema in the Kingdom where the commission would be responsible for granting licenses to cinemas.[9][10]

Saudi Arabian age rating systems[edit]

Video games[edit]

In August 2016, GCAM (now Gmedia) introduced Saudi Arabia's official age rating system for video games. This came following two years of research, and working closely with Sony MEA's Saudi office, whom handles the PlayStation brand in the country. The first game title released under Gmedia's rating is Uncharted 4: A Thief's End.[11][12] Any game title is effectively banned if Gmedia refuses to give it a rating, unless publishers possibly address concerns and remove violating content specifically for the market. The ratings include the following:

Icon Rating Description
3 Video game content suitable for ages 3 and above only.
7 Video game content suitable for ages 7 and above only.
12 Video game content suitable for ages 12 and above only.
16 Video game content suitable for ages 16 and above only.
18 Video game content suitable for ages 18 and above only.
To be classified (Introduced in 2020) Video game content has not been yet classified. This symbol is used in early marketing prior to said game's release.

Films[edit]

Following the December 2017 announcement of film theatres re-opening in Saudi Arabia, in early 2018 Deadline Hollywood reported that the Center for International Communication (CIC) started developing a new content classification system for films to be exhibited in the country.[13] By April 2018, GCAM (now Gmedia) has officially approved of a 6-category film content classification system.[14] In June 2022, the system was silently revised with an additional "PG15" classification,[15] and the "R12" classification has been eventually officially retired.[16]

Any film is refused classification (effectively banned) if said film does not pass Gmedia's censorship standards, unless edited by the film's local or global distributor if possible. Theatres are obligated to refuse admittance to any minor under minimal age from viewing films rated "R12" or higher. As of December 2023, the film ratings received slightly redesigned icons reflecting the corporate identity of Gmedia,[17] and include the following:

Icon
(2018-2023)
Rating Description
G Film is suitable for a general audience of all ages.
PG Parental guidance is advised for film audience below 12 years old.
PG12 Film audience below 12 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
PG15 Film audience below 15 years old must be accompanied by an adult.
R15 Film audience below 15 years old are prohibited to be admitted.
R18 Film audience below 18 years old are prohibited to be admitted.

Former ratings[edit]

Icon Rating Description Years used
R12 Film audience below 12 years old are prohibited to be admitted.
(This classification has been phased out and retired.)
2018-2022

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Authority to monitor audiovisual media". Arab News. 2012-09-04. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  2. ^ "General Commission of Audiovisual Media -- GCAM". Linkedin. 19 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Who's Who: Abdullatif bin Mohammed Al-Abdullatif, CEO of the General Commission for Audiovisual Media". Arab News. 12 December 2022. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  4. ^ "عن الهيئة" (in Arabic). General Authority of Media Regulation official website. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  5. ^ "مجلس الوزراء يوافق على تحويل مسمى هيئة الإعلام المرئي والمسموع إلى الهيئة العامة لتنظيم الإعلام". Saudi Broadcasting Authority (in Arabic). 14 September 2023. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  6. ^ "General Authority of Media Regulation is tasked to supervise entire media sector". Saudi Gazette. 12 September 2023. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  7. ^ "Minister of Media Launches New Strategy and Identity of the General Authority of Media Regulation". Ministry of Media's official news site. 19 December 2023. Retrieved 29 January 2024.
  8. ^ a b c "New Saudi authority for the regulation of Audio and Visual Media". Al Tamimi & Company. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  9. ^ "Cinemas to re-open in Saudi Arabia as of 2018, Ministry of Information confirms". Arab News. 2017-12-11. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  10. ^ Dudley, Dominic. "Saudi Arabia Lifts Ban On Movie Theatres At Last". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  11. ^ Jisr, Lynn (15 August 2016). "Gcam Implements New Rating System in Saudi Arabia". IGN Middle East. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
  12. ^ "التصنيف العمري للألعاب الإلكترونية" (in Arabic). General Authority of Media Regulation official website. Retrieved 9 February 2024.
  13. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (11 January 2018). "Saudi Arabia Developing Film Ratings System As It Lifts Movie Theater Ban". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  14. ^ "General Commission for Audiovisual Media Approves Films Ratings". Ministry of Media's official news site. 23 April 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2022.
  15. ^ General Commission for Audiovisual Media [@gcamsa] (September 14, 2022). "11:00 AM · Sep 14, 2022" (Tweet). Retrieved 25 September 2022 – via Twitter.
  16. ^ General Commission for Audiovisual Media [@gcamsa] (May 15, 2023). "بمناسبة #اليوم_العالمي_للأسرة، تساهم الهيئة في تحديد مدى ملاءمة المحتوى الإعلامي #المرئي_والمسموع للفئات العمرية المختلفة" (Tweet) (in Arabic). Retrieved 8 June 2023 – via Twitter.
  17. ^ General Authority of Media Regulation [@Gmedia_SA] (January 21, 2024). "التصانيف العمرية هي إرشادات وضعها خبراء مختصين من الهيئة العامة لـ #تنظيم_الإعلام، لتحديد مدى ملاءمة المحتوى لكل فئة عمرية. اتباعك لها يساعدك في حماية أبنائك من المحتوى غير المناسب لأعمارهم" (Tweet) (in Arabic). Retrieved 29 January 2024 – via Twitter.

External links[edit]