Upholding the highest standards of journalism is vital to maintain media credibility, says
Editor-in-Chief of Emarat Al Youm and member of SGCA jury committee
Sami Al Reyami, member of the jury committee of the Sharjah Government Communication Award (SGCA) and Editor-in-Chief of Emarat Al Youm newspaper, has stressed that with the onslaught of misinformation across the digital sphere, credibility has emerged as the most important trait of a media organisation, and that the lack of credibility could weaken the message and have a negative impact on the public.
Sami Al Reyami made these remarks during an SGCA jury committee meeting that was convened to discuss the latest developments in the government communications landscape, particularly post Covid-19, and analyse the entries received for the eighth edition of SGCA.
Winners of the Award's 14 categories will be announced on September 27, the second day of the 10th edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF). Organised by the Sharjah Government Media Bureau (SGMB), the two-day forum will be hosted at Expo Centre Sharjah under the theme, 'Historic lessons, Future ambitions'.
Discussing the broad range of challenges facing media organisations, Al Reyami pointed out that differences exist in the way traditional media organisations and social media outlets operate, and that not all individuals who report or broadcast news on new media are considered journalists.
He said: "Private and public media organisations operate in line with specific standards, regulations, and objectives, while there are some channels on social media that do not keep to the same standards as that of traditional media.”
Highlighting how technology is changing the media industry, Al Reyami said: "With the rapid advancement of technology, innovation and disruption have impacted the media landscape. The steady rise of advanced and convenient technology indicates that today's jobs in the media will differ greatly from future jobs where digitalisation will be the norm, leading to significant changes across the media sector."
He added: "Media and communication sectors have benefitted from the advancement of technologies which have also shaped the development of its tools and standards. Earlier we read large-sized newspapers, but today they are smaller in size, and now, more newspapers are read online or through mobile apps. The tools we use to consume news may change again over time. However, a professional media institution will remain steadfast to its visions, regulations, and guidelines, regardless of the medium used to deliver a story."
The Sharjah Government Communication 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 Mohammed Jalal Al Raisi, Executive Director of the Emirates News Agency (WAM); Ali Jaber, Director General of MBC Group and Dean of Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Communication at American University of Dubai (AUD); 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.