SHARJAH, 12th September (WAM) — The World Media Seminar, organised by the Emirates News Agency (WAM) in partnership with Sharjah Government Media Bureau, kicked off today as part of the pre-events of the 12th International Government Communication Forum (IGCF 2023) that will begin tomorrow at Expo Centre Sharjah.
The seminar explores the role of the media in highlighting sustainability issues over two days, with the participation of a select group of officials, experts, specialists, and partners of the WAM from inside and outside the country.
Addressing the seminar’s inaugural session, Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of WAM, emphasised the importance of strategic partnerships between media organisations, especially local media offices. He stressed that such partnerships enhance the quality of news and media work at the local, regional and international levels.
Al Rayssi noted that the launch of the World Media Seminar highlights key issues that matter to societies, individuals, and institutions. “The seminar embodies the UAE’s cultural and humanitarian message of spreading knowledge and expertise and benefiting from global experiences and best practices.”
He reaffirmed WAM’s commitment to credibility and professionalism in its news production. “Since its establishment, the agency has signed over 120 international cooperation agreements with news agencies, newspapers, radio stations, television networks, and digital media organisations worldwide. These partnerships have helped WAM to reach a wide audience of readers and viewers in the UAE and around the world.”
Al Rayssi also acknowledged the challenges that media organisations encounter today in the face of modern technologies such as social media and artificial intelligence. He stressed the importance of collaborating with strategic partners to address these challenges and ensure that media organisations continue to serve their audiences effectively.
He explained that the organisation of the World Media Seminar is a translation of the institutional objectives of the Emirates News Agency and the Sharjah Government Media Bureau to discuss the global best practices and models.
Al Rayssi added, “WAM will be showcasing in its stand at the International Government Communication Forum two interactive platforms that demonstrate the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to generate both real and fake news.
“The first platform, titled ‘Make a News Story at WAM’, will allow users to use AI tools to create their own news articles and reports. The second platform, titled ‘Fake News and WAM’s Credibility’, will immerse users in a fake news story that is so realistic and difficult to distinguish from real news.”
“We want to use these platforms to raise awareness of the importance of media literacy,” emphasised Al Rayssi, adding that “AI is a powerful tool that can be used to create high-quality news content, but it can also be used to spread misinformation. It is important that people are able to identify fake news so that they can make informed decisions.”
He invited all participants in IGCF to have firsthand experience of these platforms during the event, extending his sincere thanks to Tariq Saeed Allay, Director-General of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau, and the officials of the International Government Communication Centre for organising the event and its parallel activities.
Tariq Saeed Allay, Director-General of the Sharjah Government Media Bureau, said, “Since the launch of the first edition of the International Government Communication Forum, we have been keen to strengthen the partnership between media and government communication and to achieve our goals aimed at developing the government communication system.
“Today, the organisation of the World Media Seminar by the Emirates News Agency as part of the agenda of the International Government Communication Forum translates the integration of the two sectors and the unity of goals.”
He added, “This seminar brings us together to discuss shared issues and interests despite their diversity, such as green economy, food security, and resource management, and we discuss them responsibly to arrive at collective solutions that serve communities. There is a complete agreement on joint work to address the challenges that hinder development efforts and use fruitful experiences to maximise their benefits.”
He explained that at a time when sustainable development issues have become the main concern of governments, “we have all agreed on the important role of media in supporting development efforts, presenting the correct image, and following up on shortcomings with the aim of reform and development, leading to finding effective solutions to development challenges.”
Allay stressed that achieving sustainable development is a shared responsibility between all parties and requires continuous cooperation to build cultures and enhance positive behaviour among individuals and institutions within complementary and effective partnerships.
“In the United Arab Emirates, we have an exemplary experience in the partnership between media and various government entities, including government communication departments. Since goals are measured by their results, agreement on the vision brings its fruits and results through tangible achievements,” he added.
Allay expressed confidence that the World Media Seminar would be a new milestone on the path of partnership and cooperation and will establish agreement on defining a sustainable framework for this partnership to become a unified voice for development, aspirations, and harmony between peoples and cultures.
The World Media Seminar features five discussion sessions: “Media Coverage of Climate Change: Global Models”, “The Role of Media in Highlighting Issues of Sustainability”, “Coverage of the Environment in the Media: A Historical Overview”, “Green Economy Concepts in Media Content: Between Objectivity and Polemic”, and “Media and Food Security: Opportunities and Challenges”.