The Board of Directors of the National Media Council, NMC, has hailed the role the national media is playing in supporting government efforts for the containment of the spread of COVID-19.
During a remote meeting, chaired by Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of the National Media Council, the Board said that local media had proved its ability to handle challenges and fight misinformation and fake news by delivering trusted information to audiences.
The meeting was attended by Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Council, Mona Ghanem Al Marri, Director-General of Dubai Government Media Office, Director-General and Vice Chairperson of the Dubai Media Council, Rashid Saeed Al Ameri, Under-Secretary for Government Coordination Sector at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs.
Other attendees included Malek Al Malek, TECOM Group CEO, Abdulnasser Jamal Al Shaali, Assistant Minister for Economic and Trade, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Maryam Al Qassab Al Ali, a Board member, and Mohammad Jalal Al Rayssi, Acting Director-General of NMC.
At the beginning of the meeting, the Board expressed its thanks and appreciation to the UAE leadership for its continued guidance to all bodies to ensure the health of citizens and residents and to safeguard society. The Board also hailed the efforts of doctors, nurses and all concerned parties that play a major role in the fight against the new coronavirus.
Dr. Sultan Al Jaber stressed the NMC's keenness to continue cooperating closely with various media institutions and government bodies to ensure the delivery of the country’s messages.
"This will also help ensure procedures and preventive measures are communicated in a manner that contributes to the strengthening of national efforts and promotes the culture of individual responsibility among citizens and residents," he said.
The Minister pointed out the effective and influential role played by the media through awareness campaigns, which, he said, "resulted in the success of the precautionary measures and guidelines undertaken by the country to ensure the health and safety everyone."
He added, "Social awareness is key to preventing the spread of the coronavirus and committing to preventative measures taken by the country to defeat it." He continued saying that the NMC would continue cooperating with various media to launch awareness campaigns according to the public's interest.
The meeting also highlighted NMC’s efforts in supporting media organisations during current circumstances by facilitating services.
The NMC will offer guidance to deal with suppliers and small and medium enterprises operating in the country at least 90 percent, as well as the acceleration of the payment of dues to suppliers within 15 days, and the exemption of affected suppliers from the delay penalties for three months, subject to renewal.
In addition, there will be the setting of controls and instructions on television and film imagery, and the distribution of paper-based publications and the setting of controls to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
During the meeting, the NMC discussed its strategies and plans to handle the challenges of COVID-19 and the preventive measures taken by the media sector. Since the beginning of the outbreak, the NMC has worked to enhance the role of the media to spread public awareness. One example is issuance of circulars in all languages spoken in the country to cater for the UAE's diverse society. Furthermore, different segments of society were uniquely targeted to ensure that only accurate information is communicated and to avoid the spread of fake news or misinformation.
The NMC continues to coordinate with various institutions in the country to provide trusted information and support to all media, and establish mechanisms to ensure the synergy of media efforts, which in turn, contributes to the success of awareness campaigns and in supporting the country's efforts.
Moreover, the Emirates News Agency, which is part of the NMC, works on publishing government procedures and measures taken by the authorities in 13 different languages to ensure that accurate information is communicated to all members of the community.