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Greater media role for youth needed, minister says

Special support needed to help Gulf productions thrive in highly demanding market

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Caption: Sameera Bin Rajab delivering her speech at the festival - BNA
Gulf News

Manama: Youth have been urged to play a more prominent role in the media, Bahrain’s state minister for information has said.

Opening the Gulf Radio and Television Festival in the capital Manama, Sameera Ebrahim Bin Rajab said that the motto “Our Youth is the Future of our Media” was a highly significant indicator of what needed to be done in Arab countries.

“Societies today have more vivacious youth who represent their future,” she said. “Therefore, young men and women have to assume the most significant part in building up the country’s culture and media,” she said on Tuesday evening.

Therefore, the focus on young people as a factor to develop the media in our countries has become inevitable. It is an indispensable strategic option. Young men and women are today the top target of modern communication technologies. They are also the prime target of the media, not only through radio or television, but mainly through their daily use of smart phones and appliances,” she said.

The biennial festival, in its 13th edition, has been a regular feature of Bahrain media’s activities since it was launched.

Private and public radio and television stations from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) present some of their production and work and seek out contracts.

The festival has regularly paid tribute to outstanding media figures from the Gulf and upheld a competition to reward the most distinguished productions. The results for this year will be announced on Thursday at a special gala.

“We do appreciate the massive participation in the festival with around 315 productions that will compete for the top prize,” the minister said. “This is the highest figure in all the festivals and it reflects the role of this biennial gathering in promoting radio and television productions.”

Gulf media should invigorate the common media strategy, maintain a vibrant pace towards the future and become powerful enough to have an international impact, she added.

“Gulf and Arab governments should uphold a national and political commitment to ensure that media and drama productions be given the priority in their media programmes and projects,” she said. “They have a direct effect on increasing awareness, preserving identities, promoting civilisations and maintaining security and social stability,” the minister said.

Ali Al Rumaihi, the head of Bahrain’s Information Affairs Authority (IAA) said that the existence of 900 Arab television channels meant the emergence of a high level of competition in the Arab production sector.

“There is an urgent and strong need to support high-quality productions in order to thrive in a highly demanding market,” he said.