H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, has affirmed that positive citizenship requires positive media that champions the country in all circumstances based on credibility and responsible transparency.
Delivering the keynote at the third Emirati Media Forum, organised by the Dubai Press Club, in the presence of Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh Saif called on Emiratis to have a sense of national and social responsibility when posting or sharing ideas through various media.
He expressed his pride in the armed forces who are performing their national duty as part of the Saudi-led Arab coalition in support of the legitimate Yemeni government. "They are progressing steadily, in order to safeguard the stability of the region and to defend the right of their people to live in dignity, while maintaining the cultural achievements made by the UAE, including openness, freedom of expression and media freedom," he said.
Sheikh Saif also praised the positive role played by various local media organisations, which covered the funeral of the brave martyred Emirati servicemen by showing the martyrs' families high sense of national responsibility and belonging.
The full text of the speech: "I would like to take the opportunity to welcome the esteemed guests attending the third Emirati Media Forum; guests of Dubai, the unparalleled Emirati city, which has forged ahead to become a beacon of modernity, and a hub of innovation and development in various fields. All of which have been made possible by the grace of Allah Almighty, and by the unstinting efforts exerted by the wise leadership, led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The evolution of technology ushers in a new media era, with well-defined characteristics. Technological advances associate with the human element to create a new form of media that is quite different from other traditional media forms; a form that goes beyond simple monitoring and reporting of events, to being a key player in the inner workings of events. Technology and the human element work hand in hand in a virtual world. It is a common fact that anyone who possesses the fantasy world will possess and be able to control the real world.
Quoting Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid who said, "To achieve prosperity requires liberating the media from restraints and regulation so that it can enjoy more freedom, independence and creativity." Ideas have no value if they remain trapped in the head; however, not every idea is worthy of sharing.
The so-called "communication revolution' has yielded a new form of media, dubbed the "alternative media"; which I personally tend to call the "Generation Media", because both, the key players and target category are the youth. Over the past two decades, the "communication revolution" has accounted for the emergence of a growing number of print and audio-visual media. The world's population amounts to nearly 7 billion; most of whom own a smart device, which allows them to "play an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, and disseminating news and information."
Teachers, farmers, soldiers, fathers, mothers they all play an instrumental role. However, it is our shared responsibility to pay attention to the messages we convey and instil in human minds. This prompts me to ask some pertinent questions. Where does the international community stand in this general perspective? And where do our national media stand? According to statistics, expressions of interest and solidarity that poured in from around the world on social media, regarding the latest events, under the hashtag "#Istishad_jonood_Al Emirat_Al Bawasil", Arabic for "Martyrdom of brave UAE soldiers" amounted to nearly 400 million; a number that exceeds the number of followers of major satellite TVs and media organisations around the world.
We take pride in our local media organisations, which covered the funeral of the brave UAE Armed Forces' martyred servicemen, showing the martyrs' families high sense of national responsibility and belonging, while the wounded and injured displayed courage and loyalty.
I was hoping for the whole world to see this honourable image of the UAE people in general, and especially the families of martyrs. The media did not disappoint me. The UAE is a cohesive and ‘unified home,' and the spirit of brotherhood and love is binding on all Emiratis; it is only natural for us to ensure that our community media reflects this same spirit. Positive citizenship requires positive media that champions the country in all circumstances based on credibility and responsible transparency.
This sums up the picture on the community level. With respect to the government approach, Mohammed bin Rashid's Government has managed to change the stereotypical concept regarding the role of the media, from being directed from one party to another; to an interactive, free and open discourse between the public and the leadership. There is a big difference between talking to people and talking with people.
The brave righteous Armed Forces servicemen are performing their national duty as part of the Saudi-led Arab coalition in support of the legitimate Yemeni government. They are progressing steadily, in order to safeguard the stability of the region and to defend the right of their people to live in dignity, while maintaining the cultural achievements made by the UAE, including openness, freedom of expression and media freedom.
Today, we are all endeavouring to achieve the aspirations of the wise leadership; led by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa. We also strive to keep pace with the efforts exerted by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces; and we are all required to assume our national and social responsibility when posting or sharing ideas through various media. Those who master the art of success will face many enemies.
The spring that blossomed in 1971 is an ongoing journey that advances with confidence towards the future, supported by the vision and wisdom of our leadership and inspired by the values of our forefathers. No enemy of Allah and humanity will be able to fool us into championing destruction, forced displacement and terrorism. Arab countries are fully aware of this truth, which is only denied by the ignorant, the underdeveloped or the unwilling.
The heroic efforts undertaken by our valiant Armed Forces in Yemen aim to defend the right and international legitimacy, and to extend a helping hand to our brothers in Yemen, which is the Cradle of Arabism – Those who doesn't protect their own home won't protect anything else.
We appreciate creativity and celebrate innovators. We practice self-criticism and constant improvement. We avail of the lessons learned, right or wrong; but we do not expect advice or medicine from a failed doctor, nor need a failed politician to teach us military concepts.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid is always launching purposeful slogans, which constitute a theme for new work methodologies such as, Happiest Country; Happiness for Humanity; Your Help; and We Will Not Forget You, among others.
Upon conclusion of my speech, allow me to take the opportunity to express my full confidence and unyielding optimism, in the fact that we are forging ahead on the right path towards long decades of progress and prosperity; led by a strong leadership that constantly endeavours to achieve victory; in a land of bounties and authentic values; armed with progress, under the banner of a valiant strong army, which earns glory and dignity with every struggle.
In conclusion, I express my heartfelt wishes of success for this forum; hoping that it will achieve the coveted goals, and come up with fruitful ideas and opinions."