Youth panel to spot fake news in UAE

12 people selected to contribute to community by spreading right information and promoting local media

Abu Dhabi: The country’s youth will now play an integral role in supporting the National Media Council’s (NMC) strategy of developing the UAE’s media sector and work towards verifying credible news from fake on different media platforms.

For this purpose, the NMC has announced the formation of the ‘Youth Media Council’ (YMC) on Tuesday and nominated 12 young people from Emirati and expatriate communities as its members.

Dr Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, Minister of State and chairman of NMC, said, “The YMC marks the beginning of a new phase in which young people will play an integral role in supporting the NMC’s strategy of developing the UAE’s media sector. The NMC has full confidence in the country’s youth and in their expertise and ability to actively participate in the development of the country’s media industry,” Al Jaber said.

“It also reflects the importance attached to their contribution to the process of change and development, which is needed to ensure our national media is ready to embrace the future,” he said.

After an extensive selection process, 12 out of 153 candidates from across the UAE’s different media sectors were selected.

The criteria required that each member must have a distinguished media background and a demonstrable record of media achievements and creative ideas.

They were also required to be media or college students between 18 and 30 years of age and have the status of UAE citizen or resident.

Among the 12 selected, seven are local youth members — Hamad A. Alaydaroos, Abdullah Al Niyadi, Rafed Ahmad Al Harithi, Mariam Al Za’abi, Shaima Al Ammari, Maitha Al Gergawi and Alia Bujsaim; two are from Egypt (Amira Mohammad and Hadeel Hussam), and one each from Yemen (Shehabaddin Al Serri), Syria (Manar Mohammad) and India (Hameed Yousuf).

Speaking to Gulf News, Amira Mohammad, a 26 year- old-member from Palestine, said, “It’s a big responsibility. As youth, we have to give back to youth in terms of providing the right information. We have ideas on the different mediums and we would share [the information] and spread awareness.”

Mohammad, who works as a TV presenter at Abu Dhabi TV, added, “We will be briefed by the NMC about our roles and responsibility.”

Hameed Yousuf, 29, from Sharjah, said, “My main aim is to bridge the gap between expat communities and Arab media.” The idea is to contribute and collaborate to create a better media in the country, Yousuf said, adding, “We have to do plenty of listening in the social media space, assess the news being circulated and verify whether the news is real or fake.” Yousuf is the director of social media at BPG Group in Dubai.

At the event, Mansour Ebrahim Al Mansouri, director-general of NMC, encouraged members to continue participating in the council’s various activities and events that, he said, will enhance their experience and better qualify them to become members of the Youth Media Council in the future.

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