Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber and other dignitaries at the 5th Emirati Media Forum (EMF). Kamal Kassim / Gulf Today
Sohaila Ahmed, Staff Reporter
The UAE media is playing a crucial role in enhancing the country’s profile and promoting the nation as a centre for development and innovation, a top media official said at the 5th Emirati Media Forum (EMF) held in Dubai on Saturday.
The one-day Forum, organised by Dubai Press Club under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, featured 100 media and social media personalities.
In a discussion moderated by Nada Al Shaibani, Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of the UAE National Media Council, stated that the UAE has a clear and forward-looking strategy that encompasses plans and programmes covering a diverse range of sectors in the UAE. “The UAE media is a key pillar in achieving this strategy,” he said.
Speaking in the presence of managing editors, editors-in-chief of local newspapers, senior writers, thinkers, intellectuals and academics, Al Jaber praised the UAE media for its prominent role in promoting the country’s core values that are based on tolerance, coexistence and brotherhood.
“Our local media is playing a pivotal role in highlighting our national achievements and conveying the UAE’s cultural message based on the principles of tolerance, coexistence, love and generosity which were laid down by the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” said Al Jaber.
In this context, he stated that the efforts of the National Media Council (NMC) are in line with UAE’s strategy and vision. “The National Media Council always seeks to support and stimulate the media sector to move towards a new stage of development that adopts an integrated system of coordination and collaboration. This will contribute to further promoting the UAE and allowing it to successfully go global,” he stressed.
“We are proud of our local media and for the central role it has played not only in clarifying facts, debunking rumours and exposing malicious campaigns, but also for promoting values that stem from our heritage,” he said.
Al Jaber praised the leadership’s continuous support given for the media’s growth. He also highlighted the Council’s efforts in outlining key objectives for the UAE media in partnership with local media institutions, in addition to developing legislations for regulating media in order to achieve the country’s strategic objectives and vision.
In response to a question from the moderator on whether or not the local media has been able to keep pace with the achievements of the nation, participants praised the local media and said it has done a remarkable job in supporting the country’s vision and various causes in the region.
They pointed out that the UAE media has played a remarkable role especially in the past decade which has seen the escalation of regional challenges. The local media has proved its efficiency and ability in addressing sensitive issues during that period and in protecting UAE society.
Nevertheless, they also stressed that media professionals should have access to information that would enable them to play their role to the fullest. The media needs to be given all the support necessary to deal with developments effectively.
Participants also said that enhancing local media content should be a priority in the next phase. They noted that the media must provide content that benefits the community and supports its future.
Sharing their insights on the impact of local media, participants said that various elements should be considered when assessing the impact of local media. The audience is a key element since it follows local media content on different platforms, they said, adding that it is important to identify what content the audience is looking for.
The Emirati Media Forum is a unique platform for dialogue between players across the media spectrum. It provides an opportunity to discuss developments in the media industry apart from local and regional issues, while providing a bridge of communication between local media organisations, journalists, experts and specialists in various media fields. It also seeks to give local media outlets insights and knowledge on how they can develop the leadership capabilities required to excel and sustain their growth.
Mona Ghanem Al Marri, President of the Dubai Press Club, said that the UAE leadership has great expectations from Emirati media and considers it a key partner both in national development and in finding solutions to major regional and international challenges.
Sheikh Mohammed also called on media organisations to develop their human capital, which will continue to be the base for innovation and creativity.
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