Dubai: Emirati media plays a major role in refuting rumours, clarifying the truth and exposing malicious campaigns against the country, a minister said on Saturday.
Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Chairman of the UAE National Media Council was addressing the fifth Emirati Media Forum (EMF) organised by Dubai Press Club at Four Seasons hotel and resort at Jumeirah.
Speaking on the occasion, Jaber said the national media has played an important role in the development of the country.
“Our efforts are focused at supporting the country’s strategy. We are proud of our national media which is the first line of defence, especially when it comes to clarifying the truth and exposing campaigns against the country. We faced tough situations but good coordination between various media entities helped us overcome these situations,” said Al Jaber.
Public relation companies have damaged media organisations in the UAE. Each ministry gives priority to public relation companies.
Detailing how EMF has became an important platform to exchange ideas, Al Jaber said Emirati media has been instrumental in enhancing the image of the UAE and spreading awareness about country’s values of tolerance and humanity.
“Our media should also be a pioneer in digital transformation and officials at media entities have the responsibility to train more Emirati journalists in this regard,” he said.
Scores of Emirati media and social media personalities participated in the one-day long forum which held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Director General of the Government of Dubai Media Office, said the discussions at the forum were honest and bold. “Emirati media is an important partner in facing challenges at regional and global levels,” Al Marri said.
Participants agreed that Emirati media did an outstanding job during the exceptional times in the region.
Gulf News Editor-in-Chief Abdul Hamid Ahmad said understanding what local readers think of Emirati media could further develop the media sector in the UAE. “I wish to have a survey for readers in order to know their opinion about our media,” said Ahmad adding that supporting independent media entities, like media owned by private sector, could help strengthen Emirati media.
“Our newspapers shouldn’t be replica of each other. Our media should have more freedom. Differences won’t happen without supporting media organisations in the private sector. Most media organisations in neighbouring countries like Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are privately owned,” Ahmad added.
Emirati journalist Ali Al Amodi, blamed public relations companies for undermining media organisations in the country.
“Public relation companies have damaged media organisations in the UAE. Each ministry and gives priority to public relation companies,” Al Amodi said.
Al Roya Editor in Chief, Mohammad Al Hammadi meanwhile called for a revision of the media law.
We need a strategy to work and move forward. The Media law was issued in 1980. We are in 2019 now. The law should revised.
“We need a strategy to work and move forward. The Media law was issued in 1980. We are in 2019 now. The law should revised,” Al Hammadi said.
Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Council said media has an important role to play during crisis.
“It should know how to handle a situation before, during and after a crisis. Responding quickly during crisis helps in killing rumours,” Shaikh Al Qasimi said.
The second part of the forum focused on the impact of social media influencers and content produced on social media networks.
Participants stressed on the importance of the contributions of Emirati influencers
Noora Mohammad Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development and Chair of the Board of Directors of Abu Dhabi Media Company said that the journalist influencer is one who has specialised in the sector in order to provide in depth content.