A new federal law regulating the media, publications and online content will be introduced in the UAE this year, a minister told the Federal National Council (FNC).

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, told members of the FNC on Tuesday that her ministry is currently preparing a new draft law to amend Federal Law No. 15 of 1980 regarding media and publications.

These laws will be introduced to keep pace with the growing technological changes.

"In preparing the new draft law, we will consider that it keeps pace with technological progress and modern media alongside traditional media. This is through direct communication with the concerned authorities and people with expertise in the media field so that the law comes out in the best way possible and in proportion to the current time,” said Al Kaabi.

Three oversight tasks

Noura Al Kaabi clarified that there are three main oversight tasks for the Strategic Monitoring Department at the Media Regulatory Office.

The tasks will include following up and monitoring all publications issued in the country, including print, visual and electronic media content.

This also involves preparing plans to follow up on the media content provided within the country, monitoring and following up reports of the media content that are periodically broadcasted and published and thereafter submitting them to the concerned authorities to deal with them.

Al Kaabi was responding to a question from FNC member, Obaid Khalfan Al-Ghoul Al-Salami about monitoring the content of licensed media activities online, especially in times of crisis.

“The strategic monitoring department periodically submits reports on what is published by various communication channels, including online content, evaluates its negative and positive effects.

"Those [contents] found in violation of the rules are submitted to the relevant authorities to take appropriate action,” she said.

Al Kaabi added that media violations are monitored and dealt with according to the type of the breach and according to the authority concerned with the violation.

The minister also pointed out that there is close cooperation between the Media Regulatory Office and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) in dealing with the content published and broadcast on various online communication platforms and other media during crises and emergencies.

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