Member of SGCA jury committee and Director General of MBC Group lauds UAE’s successful communication initiative during the Covid-19 pandemic
Sharjah, 22 August 2021: HE Ali Jaber, Member of Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA) jury committee and Director General of MBC Group, has stressed that the media is has the power to influence societies and change people's lives, provoke wars, and sustain peace. He also pointed out that as the media is one of the fastest-evolving sectors, any organisation that does not keep pace is bound to fail.
The statement was made in the course of a SGCA jury committee meeting, which was convened to discuss and analyse the entries received for the eighth edition of SGCA. Winners of the Award will be announced on the second day of the 10th edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) taking place on September 26 – 27 under the theme 'Historic lessons, Future ambitions'. Organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), the forum will be hosted at Expo Centre Sharjah.
Jaber, who also serves as Dean of Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Communication at the American University of Dubai, discussed t several other topics as well, including the country's management of the COVID-19 crisis.
He said: 'The UAE, alongside New Zealand, were among the few countries who managed to communicate effectively with the public during the pandemic, even as a majority of [countries] revealed that they had problems with this type of communication. The UAE was able to reduce panic among its residents and encourage them to get vaccinated., The Do Not Worry campaign launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, was especially effective. I strongly believe that it is worthy of being taught as a case study in crisis management and effective government communications in universities because of its scientific value and the role it played in alleviating stress and supporting the community.'
He continued, 'The UAE is a model for the Arab region, having successfully managed to balance between the lockdown and re-opening all aspects of work and community life, thereby reducing the impact of the pandemic on our communities.'
Characteristics of media personalities and Arab online visual content platforms
The characteristics of a media personality, Arabic online visual content platforms, as well as the impact of social media on youth, were among the topics discussed by the jury. 'Successful media personalities must have charisma, as well as the time and the ability to express, understand and interact with their audience. These qualities, along with continouous research and updation of knowledge and expertise will keep them on the path of success and development,” said Jaber.
He highlighted that many youth today prefer social media interactions over in-person meetings with their friends and families. He also noted that online platforms have created a sense of loneliness among the youth, leading to the overuse of online communications by them.
The Director General of MBC Group added: 'There is still a gap between visual content available on Arab platforms vis-à-vis international platforms. However, several Arab platforms are now producing content relevant to our identity and culture, which is encouraging.”
The award has received 403 entry submissions for the eighth edition. Jurors shortlisted 212 nominees in the award's 14 categories, including 38 entries from Sharjah, 145 from other Emirates and a total of 29 entries from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Sudan, Pakistan, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, and other countries across the Gulf region.
The Sharjah award jury includes HE Mohammed Jalal Al Raisi, Executive Director of the Emirates News Agency (WAM); Sami Al Reyami, Editor-in-Chief of Emarat Al Youm newspaper; HE Hassan Yaqoub Al Mansouri, Secretary-General of Sharjah Media Council; Shihab Alhammadi, Director of Sharjah Media City (Shams); Dr Ali Salem Al Lawati, Adviser at the Diwan of Royal Court, Sultanate of Oman; Dr. Yasar Jarrar, bestselling author of The Sheikh CEO; and Fadila Al Muaini, Vice Chairperson of the UAE Journalists Association.