The National Media Council (NMC) has announced the formation of the ‘Youth Media Council’, during a youth-engagement circle held recently in Abu Dhabi.
The Youth Media Council, comprising 12 members aged 18 to 30, will serve two-year renewable terms, said a press release issued by the NMC on Wednesday. Membership is equally split among young men and women, and consists of both Emiratis and expats, in addition to a general coordinator from the NMC.
The decision to form the new council was based on the findings of a first-of-its-kind nationwide survey carried out in collaboration with the UAE University’s (UAEU) Centre for Public Policy and Leadership, entitled: ‘Sources of Youth for Obtaining Information and News’. The study aimed at gaining insights into the reality of the local media sector and ways of enhancing it in line with international trends and developments.
The youth-engagement circle was attended by Shamma Suhail Faris Al Mazroui, Minister of State for Youth Affairs; Mansour Al Mansouri, director-general of the NMC; Professor Mohammad Al Baili, vice-chancellor of the UAEU; as well as a group of teachers and students from media faculties around the country.
Minister Al Mazroui reaffirmed the great impact of media in influencing youth’s perspectives on various issues around the world, while urging youth to adopt positive change to serve and further enhance their communities.
“It is essential that we identify and benefit from innovative media engagement mechanisms to communicate with the youth segment in light of the rapidly evolving media landscape, particularly the great role that social media plays in terms of shaping youth’s interests,” she said.
She commended the study that the NMC developed, highlighting that its key findings paved the way for effective media engagement with youth.
Al Mansouri, NMC director-general, said: “The youth are a key priority for the UAE’s leadership, which views them as the most valuable future resource and the key foundation of sustainable development. It is essential for us to empower and effectively engage them in the development of the media sector. We should benefit from their creative energy and experiences, all the while encouraging and honing their skills and talents,” he said.
Al Mansouri pointed out that the media sector has witnessed sweeping changes that have notably strengthened digital and social media, establishing them as the preferred source of information and news for young people.
“This was confirmed by the survey we conducted. These results prompted us to form the Youth Media Council as an advisory body to guide us in developing modern and flexible media messaging and policies that are attuned to the needs of the youth segment. Moreover, the study aimed at developing the role of national media to achieve the objectives of the UAE’s government to protect society from distorted and misguided ideas that have a negative impact on youth, while providing them with accurate information to enable them to form a clear and comprehensive outlook,” the NMC chief explained.