SHARJAH, 26th September, 2018 (WAM) — Seniors officials and leaders of major media institutions in the Arab region have stressed the importance of the great support extended by H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to the media and the cultural sector, which has earned the Emirate its prestigious international reputation.
This was stated during the opening of the fifth Arab Media Leaders Forum on Wednesday. The forum, an initiative by Kuwait’s Arab Media Forum, is being hosted this year by the Sharjah Press Club, SPC, of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau.
Speaking at the forum, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council, SMC, stressed Sharjah’s keenness to promote Arab media cooperation, support its development programmes and consolidate its international standing. He called for the creation of a supportive environment for media creativity and development in the Arab region.
He expressed his sincere gratitude to His Highness, the Ruler of Sharjah, for the major support he gives to the media sector and for his faith in the role of this sector in human and community development.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed praised the efforts of the Arab Media Forum and its role in discussing Arab media issues and addressing the challenges of its advancement. He pointed out that Sharjah’s hosting of the forum reflects the deep media relations between the emirate and Kuwait.
The SMC Chairman asserted that Sharjah treats the media sector as a high priority, which aligns with the emirate’s developmental endeavours and aspirations towards achieving comprehensive and sustainable development.
He said that Sharjah’s media journey began with the inception of the UAE’s first newspaper in the 1920s and has continued with the launch of Sharjah Media Council with its three institutions, Sharjah Media Corporation, Sharjah Government Media Bureau and Sharjah Media City.
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed called for the translation of the recommendations of the Arab Media Leaders Forum into action plans aimed at promoting the media sector and overcoming its challenges, stressing Sharjah’s keenness to provide all the necessary support to implement these recommendations.
Ambassador Dr Badr Al Din Alali, Assistant Secretary-General of the Arab League Social Affairs Sector, stressed the importance of the forum, lauding the Arab Media Forum Authority for serving as a bridge between Arab media institutions and a platform for dialogue on topics and issues of interest to the Arab media.
Dr Alali praised Sharjah’s efforts to promote media work in the region and host the forum, which annually brings together Arab intellectuals and media professionals to support the Arab media march.
Madi Al Khamis, Secretary-General of the Arab Media Forum, confirmed that the forum’s proposals will be transformed into recommendations, which will then be submitted to the concerned authorities for implementation.
He called for the development of media institutions and the promotion of social responsibility among workers in the media.
Al Khamis praised Sharjah’s efforts in the service of the UAE and Arab media, as well as SPC’s hosting of the forum.
He confirmed the significance of the media industry, which plays a pivotal role in influencing and advancing societies.
In the presence of more than hundred leading journalists, media professionals and senior officials from the press and media sector in the UAE, GCC and the wider Arab world, the forum discussed a wide array of issues related to the Arab media and its future.
Participants called for introducing joint Arab media training programmes to promote the sector and develop an integrated system for professional training.
They stressed the need to produce content that meets the needs of the public and conforms to the ethics of the media profession and improves the skills of workers in the field.
The forum invited the Arab League to introduce laws to regulate the work of electronic media, as well as a professional charter to consolidate media values and control irresponsible publishing.
It emphasised the importance of reviewing editorial policies across a number of media institutions and establishing research centres that can contribute to enhancing credibility and providing adequate information.
The forum called for the establishment of a strategy for Arab media and building bridges of cooperation between cultures, pointing to the need to build a new generation of journalists to disseminate a media message consistent with development goals.