Mohammed Jalal Al Rayssi, Director-General of the Emirates News Agency (WAM), affirmed that the UAE has taken exceptional and proactive steps to explore the future of new media through an innovative national media model based on youth, which has developed the capabilities of ''our national media to compete globally''.
He said that the UAE has provided an inspiring model in transferring knowledge and experiences to the younger male and female generations, through regular national dialogues between officials and youth, in a way that enhances their knowledge and contributes to creating a generation armed with culture and knowledge, as they are an essential pillar in the construction and development witnessed by the country.
Al Rayssi was speaking at a virtual session as part of the Cultural Summer Camp 2021, organised by the Ministry of Culture and Youth under the theme: ''How our youth invest new media to build their future''. The virtual dialogue session focused on three axes dealing with youth, which are "What is the new media?, UAE and foreseeing the future of the new media and Youth and new media and their aspirations for the future."
He noted that with the emergence of social media and the expansion of its impact, especially on the youth group who use it most, and according to many global statistics, the concept of new media emerged in the whole world, which provided the opportunity for anyone with simple tools to create media material and be a publisher and deliver his messages to others with ease. He pointed out that the new media has succeeded in attracting large segments of recipients, which shows the importance of this new mode of media and at the same time the importance of dealing with it professionally to deter any attempts to use it in a negative way.
The Director-General of the Emirates News Agency cited what happened recently during the Jebel Ali fire in Dubai, and how ''our national media and all media agencies in the country dealt with this incident by taking advantage of the digital infrastructure provided by the new media in order to quickly disseminate facts about the accident through all social media and media tools which contributed to nip rumors in the bud and reflected the state’s ability to deal professionally with all challenges and highlighted the importance of the new media.
Speaking about the future of the new media, Al Rayssi affirmed His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched the New Media Academy in Dubai in January 2021 to prepare a new generation of new media experts, which reflected the UAE's approach to foreseeing the future and laying the ground for a new stage that enhances the competitiveness of ''our national media.'' He said that the national media was keen to keep pace with this new type of media, believing in its important role in influencing various segments of society, especially the youth. The local media, on its part, worked to develop and promote their digital content, noting in this regard that WAM owns digital platforms with abundant news content for the whole world in 19 languages.
On the role of youth and new media and their aspirations for the future, Al Rayssi said that, ''Investing our youth in new media in order to build the future is important and vital. Our youth can tap the new media of rich content to crystalise a clear-cut vision not only to plan for their career, but also to identify the needs of the industry and the most important areas they must focus on to push forward the nation's wheel for development and growth.'' He added that the new media also provided an ideal opportunity to attract the nation's youth to work in this field in light of the advanced technical means that youth accept, in addition to providing advanced content that highlights their skills, creativity and ability to innovate.
The Director-General of WAM concluded by saying, ''The new media has become supportive of the nation's development and our youth is a fundamental and important enabler in our journey towards the next 50 years of ambition and achievement. Our role is to pave the way for them to take advantage of new digital media content that can build their capacities and character, develop their skills and qualify them optimally for the future.''