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May 30, 2021

Dubai Press Club announces key recommendations of the 6th edition of Emirati Media Forum

Creating an integrated strategy that promotes effective coordination between local media outlets and setting clear objectives for the sector in the next phase were among the key recommendations of the sixth edition of the Emirati Media Forum (EMF) organised by Dubai Press Club (DPC) in May.

This year’s EMF drew the participation of leading media personalities, heads of UAE media institutions, prominent writers and intellectuals. The Forum discussed several topics including the future of the UAE’s media industry over the next 50 years and the sector’s development in accordance with the leadership’s vision.

DPC said the event’s key recommendations will help draw a roadmap for the local media sector’s future growth and enhance its role and competitiveness in the next phase.

Transparent dialogue for a better media

Her Excellency Mona Al Marri, President of the Dubai Press Club, said: “The Emirati Media Forum was launched with the objective of enhancing dialogue between players across the media spectrum and strengthening the role of local media in building a better future. As part of our efforts to help realise the UAE’s vision for the future, we are committed to providing ideas and strategies that will drive media excellence so that the sector can keep pace with the country’s progress.

“Our goal is to be aligned with the requirements of the next phase and facilitate positive contributions from local media. Participants in this year’s Forum unanimously believe an integrated strategy is critical to ensure smooth coordination between all stakeholders in the sector including media organisations, government communication entities and the internal communication teams of government and semi-government institutions,” Al Marri added.

Maitha Buhumaid, Director of the Dubai Press Club, said the recommendations of the Emirati Media Forum will contribute to resolving vital gaps and issues facing local media and help ensure a bright future for the sector.

“The Forum has been able to meet its objective of delivering recommendations that address critical issues in the local media in a transparent manner and providing a platform for a meaningful dialogue among industry leaders. There were more than 30 recommendations made by participants during the 6th edition the event which took into consideration a wide gamut of challenges facing the sector. These recommendations are a key starting point for developing an ambitious media strategy aligned with the country’s vision. Building on these recommendations to generate new solutions will support the local media’s accelerated advancement in the next phase,” Buhumaid added.

The recommendations presented by participants focused on how to establish a system that can enhance the capabilities of local media to keep pace with the UAE’s achievements and support the country in realising its future ambitions.

Participants highlighted the importance of strengthening the role of local media in communicating the UAE’s message to a global audience. They also said local news outlets must work on diversifying their content and including more perspectives. Local media must also be encouraged to freely address topics that support the UAE’s national agenda and confidently offer constructive criticism.

Other key recommendations called for creating more engaging media content, giving talent development the highest priority and allowing youth to participate in conversations so that their ideas and voices can be leveraged to strengthen the UAE’s media.

Participants advised the media to explore new ways to present their content in alignment with the aspirations of the youth. As for social media influencers, they said that they should be given the liberty to present their own work while also being encouraged to develop high quality content.

Local English and Arabic media must avoid relying heavily on press releases and developing more of their own stories, the recommendations urged.

Evaluating media outlets

Participants said the outcome of the strategic meetings and discussions that took place at the level of the National Media Council should be implemented in the next phase. There should be mechanisms in place to assess the work of local media organisations, evaluate media content during times of crises and receive feedback and suggestions from the audience. The Forum’s participants also stressed the need for local media to invest in 5G technologies.

Other observations made during the Forum included assessing the local media’s readiness for digital transformation and ways to enhance its ability to cover more specialised topics. Participants noted that UAE media delivered impactful coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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