Al-Jabri representing Kuwaiti Prime Minister: Arab media must recognize its national responsibilities
NNA - The General Assembly of the Federation of Arab News Agencies (FANA) opened its 46th Conference on Sunday at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Kuwait under the patronage of Kuwaiti Prime Minister, Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, represented by Information Minister, State Minister for Youth Affairs Mohammad Al-Jabri.
The opening session was attended by Head of the International Conference of News Agencies, Chairman of the Asia-Pacific News Agency, Director of the Aztrak News Agency, Aslan Aslanov; Chairman of the Federation of Arab News Agencies, Director of the Kuwait News Agency, Sheikh Mubarak Al Ibrahim Al Sabah, and various directors of Arab news agencies and their representatives.
Representing Lebanon at the Conference was Director of the National News Agency, Laure Sleiman.
Following the Kuwaiti national anthem, Kuwaiti Information Minister Mohammed Al-Jabri delivered a speech in which he stressed the importance of the Arab media's awareness of its responsibilities and knowledge of the issues of its nations, in light of the difficult stage the world is going through.
"The world is passing through a phase where events are accelerating and challenges are increasing...from which the media cannot be isolated," Al Jabri said.
He pointed to the Arab media's great role in "spreading culture and enlightenment among citizens," in addition to its major responsibility in "dealing with rumors that aim at separating ranks and destabilization," and in "combating notions of extremism and terrorism."
Al Jabri also referred to the essential role of the Arab media in supporting efforts of national development and encouraging citizens to partake in these efforts; as well as directing the energies of young people and benefiting from their ideas, being the real wealth and power in shaping the future and its industry.
"The Arab media has witnessed remarkable progress in recent years, and successful models and experiences have emerged in many countries," Al Jabri said. "However, we aspire towards achieving excellence that fulfills the hopes and aspirations of our peoples, commensurate with our capabilities, expertise and competencies," he corroborated.
Al-Jabri expressed his confidence and belief that "the next stage will witness a qualitative shift in the Arab media in its various means and a great development in its tools, style of work and in the vocabulary of its speech."
He reiterated his full conviction that strengthening cooperation between Arab media institutions and pursuing the exchange of ideas and experiences among them is the way to achieving the desired goals.
In turn, Head of the Federation of Arab News Agencies addressed the attendees saying, "The media is a double-edged sword. If it is misused, it becomes deterrent to destruction, whether by spreading chaos or shaking stability or wasting the resources and capabilities of the people. However, if properly and optimally invested, it becomes a locomotive for rebirth, construction, progress and prosperity."
"We have turned several models in history, which are important lessons that we must keep before our eyes," he added, stressing that "the Arab news agencies have double responsibilities."
Al Sabah continued to highlight the great role of the Arab news agencies "in facing the challenges in the way of building our homelands and developing our societies." "At the forefront of these challenges is combating extremism, fighting terrorism and thwarting any attempt to undermine or destabilize our nations," he emphasized.
Al Sabah deemed that "showing the civilized facets of our societies and confronting the deliberate campaigns of distortion is no longer our utmost hope...for we must aspire to achieve greater excellence, most prominently in ensuring a pioneering role of Arab media in positively influencing its regional and international environment."
He asserted that this goal could solely be achieved through the cooperation and solidarity of all the Arab media institutions with all their official and civil components, the preparation of a new ambitious plan, and investing in the Arab capabilities, assets, expertise and competencies in a rational manner.
For his part, Arab News Agencies (FANA) Secretary-General, Farid Ayar, considered in his word that Arab news agencies need to be actively involved in the international media arena, especially in defending the Arab identity and achieving security and stability in the region and the world."
"This entails an Arab political will that can drive such programs and directions towards renewal and change," he said.
Ayar considered the gap between Arab and international news agencies to be the result of a wider contradiction between aspirations and potential, and reality and ambition. He proposed a suitable solution to this problem, namely in demanding more freedom, financial and moral support, and a preference for the dissemination of news to be given to the Arab news agencies, so as to remain steadfast in their pioneering role in providing the right news and information.
On a different note, and upon arrival in Kuwait yesterday evening to partake in the Conference, NNA Director Laure Sleiman spoke to welcoming officials from the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), saying, "The Conference will discuss issues of concern to the agencies, their relations with international agencies, cooperation between them and coordination of positions and efforts aimed at training and qualifying journalists to elevate the Arab press to the level of international news agencies."
"There are internal and external issues of general concern related to ensuring the privacy of the policy of agencies and maintaining relations between countries, in addition to safeguarding the need for prudence in collecting news from their proper source, i.e. from official agencies," Sleiman underlined.
Source: National News Agency