National Media Council's (NMC) first Board of Directors' meeting, chaired by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State, has discussed the key priorities on which the NMC's strategy would focus during the next stage in the light of its terms of reference and the objectives it seeks to achieve to upgrade local media work system to higher degrees of performance efficiency and content quality.
These key priorities would match the highest international standards, in line with the high status enjoyed by the UAE at the regional and global levels.
Dr. Al Jaber explained that the NMC will focus on a set of core themes that affect the overall objectives directly, and include pillars of the main and foremost national media policy "to ensure our national media achieves the highest performance efficiency levels, and raise the level of its contribution to supporting the development process in the State, and developing effective and clear strategic objectives of communication with external media, as well as capacity and competence building of national cadres and motivating them."
He stressed the need for development of young talents to prepare and enable new generations of Emirati journalists capable to continue development of this vital sector process and ensure excellence.
Dr. Al Jaber underscored that the Council "is currently working on the completion of general framework for continuous development of the media work plans in the UAE through the establishment of an institutionalised system in line with the requirements of technical development to achieve the desired objectives."
The meeting was attended by the members of the Board of Directors, including Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation, Ahmed Al Jarman, Assistant Minister for Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saeed Al Muqbali, Adviser at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO, TECOM Investments, Mohammed Ibrahim Al Mahmoud, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Media Company, Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Director General of the Media Office of the Government of Dubai, Noura Al Kaabi, Chief Executive of the Media Zone Authority - Abu Dhabi, and Dr. Ali Rashid Al Noaimi, Vice Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates. The meeting was also attended by Ibrahim Al Abed, Adviser to NMC Chairman and Mansour Al Mansouri, Acting Director General of the NMC.
At the beginning of the meeting, the NMC Board Chairman and members commended the important role played by the NMC in the past, praising the efforts of the media sector in the development of the State. They cited the initiatives and projects in this respect. The Chairman of the NMC stressed that "the institutional work is a cumulative one that enhances gains and adds to them in line with the requirements of each stage," pointing out that the current Council will focus on the commitment to work to ensure the continuous success and strengthen the past achievements, and build on them to bring the media in line with the aspirations of the wise leadership and meet the requirements of advanced media work.
Dr. Al Jaber said, "The Council will work through this stage to promote the media sector performance by providing various means of support to optimally discharge the national duties so as to keep pace with contemporary technological development."
The participants stressed that the Council will work with all its energies and potential to reflect positive image of the UAE at various regional and international forums, and to highlight its leading civilisational role, and to shed light on the extent of its achievements in various political, economic, social, cultural and humanitarian fields, which put the country among the most advanced countries in many sectors.
During the meeting, Dr. Al Jaber emphasised the central and key role of various national media organisations during the next phase, noting that the Council will work with these institutions in a spirit of teamwork and partnership to make the goals and objectives accessible. He added that the media institutions are the main drive for any process of modernisation in the media sector.
Regarding the participation of Emirati cadres in the local media system and their main role, he said, "The upgrading of national talents, polishing, honing their skills and developing their capabilities, are the most important priorities the NMC will work on to implement during the next phase in line with the implementation of the vision of our wise leadership, which stresses the importance of increasing the scope of participation of the national component in all sectors through focussing on preparation and training national cadres of leadership within the second and third grades of leadership at the media organisations."
Regarding the development of national media cadres, the participants stressed that work is underway to develop general lines of programmes and initiatives, which will be launched during the next phase with the participation and cooperation of various media institutions operating in the country to contribute to building a solid base of Emirati talents capable of taking responsibility and managing the national media competently and professionally.
Dr. Al Jaber explained that the NMC will deal with the development requirements during the next phase through a comprehensive and integrated perspective, which will not only be limited to traditional media, whether print or audio or visual, but will also take into account the latest technological developments and social networking platforms that have contributed to changing the traditional media standards.
He noted that the development process will also include Emirates News Agency (WAM), which "is one of the basic and pivotal components of our local media," adding that all necessary requirements will be mooted to improve capabilities and potential of WAM in accordance with the international best practices and in line with the local environment. This confirms the status of WAM as the first official and reliable information source of the UAE."
The participants also discussed the issue of a review of all laws and legislation governing the media sector by the Board to update them so as to keep pace with developments in the media sector to serve the media development in the country.