As soon as the coronavirus news hit the world, the UAE media went into overdrive, working 24 hours to help spread awareness and aid the authorities in getting their messages through to citizens and residents.
The fight against this invisible enemy that threw our lives out of gear and wreaked havoc all over the world is a collective effort. The media plays a critical role in this battle. Helping people make sense of what is happening and stay safe and healthy has been the media’s first priority. Gulf News has been running extensive awareness campaigns, in various languages, to encourage people to stay home and use the best hygienic practices to stay healthy.
It has been a challenge to us and other UAE media outlets as our journalists and editors have to work around the clock, like many other unsung heroes in the country, such as doctors, nurses, police officers, civic defence, security services, customs and many other professionals who leave their families each day to keep this nation safe. These heroes deserve our appreciation.
As the economic activities slow down around the world...as a result of the containment measures enforced globally to keep the people safe, the media outlets see their revenues diminish rapidly just like other business sectors.
In the media, we feel that this our duty. This is our natural role because the media is part of the lines of national defence against the COVID-19 pandemic. Our nation deserves every effort we put in.
On the other hand, as the economic activities slow down around the world, including in the UAE, as a result of the containment measures enforced globally to keep the people safe, the media outlets see their revenues diminish rapidly just like other business sectors. Ad revenues have almost disappeared. We have also reduced the circulation numbers of the print edition as per the recent rules, to mitigate any potential health risk to the readers.
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The UAE, which is being cited across the world as a successful example in combating the pandemic, announced, as part of its measures to stem the impact of the virus outbreak, a generous stimulus package to those affected by the crisis, particularly in the business sector. We hope the national newspapers, especially the private sector-owned, will be part of the stimulus measures.
The financial assistance is badly needed to offset the rapidly declining revenues that could seriously affect the media’s ability to play its vital role, especially in times like these.
These tough times will pass. The world will come out stronger. Together we will overcome the challenges.