The importance of the media industry has evolved significantly, transitioning from a mere information transfer tool to a powerful soft power that guides and influences society.
With the increasing demand from the modern media audience, who utilise these platforms to share valuable content, governments must proactively develop ambitious strategies that contribute to sustainable human development.
We are currently witnessing the remarkable efforts of the Emirates Media Council. The Council affiliated to UAE Cabinet, aims to coordinate media efforts and strengthen cooperation between government media entities at the federal and local levels.
Apart from unifying media policies to highlight UAE identity, the council will be monitoring the media content within the UAE and accrediting media professionals and foreign media reporters in the country.
Evaluating local media content
The Emirates Media Council is working on formulating a comprehensive strategy to advance the national media sector. This strategy focuses on developing and equipping media professionals with the necessary skills to fulfil their professional tasks.
These tasks revolve around conveying and highlighting national identity, strategic messages, and showcasing the UAE’s dedication to achieving sustainable development goals on both local and international fronts. It showcases the wise leadership’s commitment to supporting this vital sector.
The Council has implemented a range of initiatives to foster the growth of creative industries, enhance their competitiveness, and strengthen collaboration with local, federal, and international partners.
In addition, the Council has recently announced its commitment to evaluating local media content, ensuring that it adheres to the values, principles, and standards upheld in the Emirates.
Restricting offensive content
It is the collective responsibility of community members to help restrict offensive content. When sending or sharing messages and media content, it is crucial to abide by the ethics of good citizenship. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has identified ten fundamental characteristics of the Emirati personality on social media.
These characteristics represent the image, vision, and values of Zayed, emphasising interaction with others based on knowledge, culture, civility, and constructive dialogue. This cultivated behaviour appreciates positive engagement with ideas, cultures, and societies, while sharing information, spreading societal and humanitarian initiatives, and aligning with the country’s global environment.
The UAE, rooted in its national identity, possesses distinct characteristics, ethics, and foundations. Building on this, there is an opportunity to launch a global initiative from the UAE, encompassing the principles of creating meaningful content, digital citizenship skills, and digital fluency. This initiative can empower social media pioneers to shape their societies based on the values of Emirati citizenship.
Foundation of a national media landscape
The ten principles launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, including tolerance, peaceful coexistence, respect for cultural diversity, knowledge dissemination, exchange of experiences, virtual cooperation, teamwork, support without discrimination, highlighting achievements and development projects, and contributing to the prosperity of humankind, form the foundation of the desired national media landscape.
These principles guide the media landscape towards fostering understanding, promoting unity, and embracing the power of diverse perspectives. By upholding these values, the national media can contribute to a more inclusive and enlightened society.
Tolerance, peaceful coexistence, and respect for cultural diversity are essential pillars that uphold the UAE’s harmonious society. Embracing these values fosters understanding, empathy, and appreciation for the richness of different cultures, traditions, and beliefs.
By cultivating an environment of acceptance and inclusivity, we can celebrate diversity and create spaces where individuals from various backgrounds can thrive together, contributing to a more peaceful and united world.
Together, let us strive to create the national media environment we envision, embracing these principles and values that resonate with the UAE’s identity.
Alya Hassan Al Yassi is an Emirati researcher and strategic media expert