Call for inclusion of media education and training in region’s educational systems

SHARJAH, The Arab Media Leaders Forum, AMLF, wrapped up here on Thursday by calling for raising a generation capable of recognising the role of influential media in the quest for development.

It urged the inclusion of specialised curricula in media education within the educational systems across the Arab world.

The Arab Media Leaders Forum, an initiative of Kuwait and hosted by the Sharjah Press Club of Sharjah Government Media Bureau, called for raising the efficiency of journalists and media professionals in the Arab world, urging press and media institutions in the region to allocate a part of their budget for training to raise the efficiency of their professionals.

Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council, thanked and complimented all delegates for their participation and efforts to make the forum a success. Welcoming the final recommendations of the forum, he called for their immediate follow-up and effective implementation in order to benefit from the insights of various experts for the overall benefit of all stakeholders in the region.

Tariq Saeed Allay, Director of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau, stressed that hosting of the forum by the Sharjah Press Club is part of the initiatives and efforts to support and reinvigorate the Arab media system and benefit from the experiences and insights of leading media experts and leaders from across the region.

He extended his gratitude to the Arab Media Forum Authority for selecting Sharjah as a venue for the fifth edition of the forum, heralding further future cooperation between the two sides.

Madi Al-Khamis, Secretary-General of the Arab Media Forum, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to Sharjah for successfully hosting the forum, turning the spotlight on the state of Arab media in light of the developments in the Arab and international arena. He also thanked leading media figures from across the world for their participation.

The fifth edition of the forum, an initiative by Kuwait’s Arab Media Forum Authority, was attended by 100 media leaders, senior officials and editors from across the region. The two-day forum concluded with a number of strategic recommendations by the leading media experts in the region.

The forum called on governments and states to provide a supportive environment that guarantees freedom of access and information, while emphasising the balance between personal freedom and national security requirements, stressing the necessity of introducing new media tools and citizen journalism.

The forum also stressed the need to combat terrorism at all levels — intellectual, cultural and cognitive terrorism and condemning the media that promotes terrorism and hate speech.

The forum called on the society to adopt and support the media model committed to professional and ethical values, stressing the rejection and boycott of all media promoting hatred, racism, sectarianism and violation of privacy.

Among the other key recommendations, the forum stressed the need to enhance the professional competence of journalists and media professionals and called on media institutions to allocate an amount of its budget for training to raise the efficiency of the human element.

The AMLF also called for a sharper focus on the training and rehabilitation of Arab youth in the fields of modern technology and electronic applications. It called for the incorporation of media education into existing curricula.

The forum emphasised the need to develop programmes in media and journalism schools and departments in line with the international standards of media training. It underscored the importance of training and qualifying directors of media institutions.

The forum called for the development of adequate laws and legal infrastructure to keep abreast of massive advancements in the media industry, digital broadcasting and electronic applications.

The forum invited civil society organisations to work on raising the community’s awareness on certain social issues and to invest ICTs in instilling positive thinking and values of intellectual security to confront corrupt ideologies and fight extremism, terrorism and all that threatens the security of society.

The forum stressed the need to activate the role of Arab media unions in limiting the control of capital over media product. The event recommended supporting cooperation between Arab media organisations working in similar fields.

Source: Emirates News Agency