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Aysha Taryam: Our media is intertwined with national responsibility
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DUBAI: The Editor In Chief of The Gulf Today, Aysha Taryam, has told an audience of the 4th Emirati Media Forum held on Nov.6 at the Dubai World Trade Centre that the concept of the UAE media is different from that of the West because “we have national responsibility.”

“This special responsibility, which is coupled with a huge presence of expatriates from all the nationalities, calls for extra concentration,” she said in a heavily attended one-day meet organised by the Dubai Press Club.

She was speaking at a panel session titled, “Foreign Language Media in the UAE,” alongside her counterpart at The National newspaper, Mina Al-Oraibi. It was moderated by the writer, Aisha Sultan.

Taryam said the media must clarify issues for the reader to avoid confusion and make expatriates feel that the UAE is their second home.

“We have a significant role of interpreting news to be understood by the expatriates to enable them keep apace with the prevailing situation in the country.”

On this point, Al-Oraibi said the foreign media needs “highly professional writers. National responsibility is a sensitive issue, so [command of] language is very important, and it is our responsibility as journalists to represent the UAE.”

Taryam however said there should be a change in “our concept by welcoming more freedom, entertain criticism and become wider and more brave.”

For Al-Oraibi, the newspaper should be able to compete with social media and develop “fine editing which will attract readers and an international audience.

“The news must attract the reader or listener. We should pitch our national examples of governance and innovation to attract international leaders, and we need to be more courageous on some issues.”

This year’s edition focused on the national role of the UAE media, as the organisers said earlier, “at a time when the region is beset with political turmoil.”

The EMF serves as a unique platform for dialogue between players across the media spectrum on vital issues of the sector’s development and a bridge of communication between local media organisations, journalists, experts and specialists in various fields of media, as well as the media students. It also seeks to give local media outlets insights and knowledge on how they can develop the leadership capabilities required to both sustain growth and excel.

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