Information minister stresses media role in showcasing Bahrain

GMT 02:13 2015 Tuesday ,03 February

Arab Today, arab today Information minister stresses media role in showcasing Bahrain

Information Minister Isa bin Abdulrahman al-Hammadi
Manama - BNA

Information Affairs Minister Isa bin Abdulrahman Al Hammadi said that the Bahraini media should be an effective and influential factor of influence that showcases Bahrain 's advanced status achieved under the reforms launched by HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
The Minister told Bahraini daily Al Watan the media has a pivotal role in portraying such a wide spectrum of accomplishments and in diagnosing the situation.
“We are not referring to highlighting achievements only, but also to focusing on challenges,” he said. “The media should reflect the reality on the ground and should deal with it professionally in order to have the required credibility, impact and influence on the ever-moving development process.”
Al Hammadi said that the new organizational structure has undergone several phases laced with serious challenges and that it covers many aspects and includes great developments.
“We have now reached the final stages of structuring, in cooperation with the Civil Service Bureau (CSB), and the positions of the employees will soon be confirmed as per the new structure. In order to ensure that the process was in due form, we had to continue working on the practical aspects to finalize the implementation procedures,” he said.
The minister added that there were no obstacles or delays in the work on the organizational structure at the present time.
“I thank the CSB for their cooperation and also thank all employees in the Ministry and outside who have contributed to reaching the final stage of the organizational structure.”
The minister said that the consolidation of the role of young men and women in the media was among the ministry’s top priorities, through strategic plans to train them and enhance their professional aptitudes in order to boost the media sector in Bahrain.
“Interest in the youth is among the strategic priorities of the Government Action Plan that reinforce the role of youth centres and society organizations aiming to consolidate national unity. The government is genuinely interested in developing the youth sector and providing with a high number of plans and programmes that boost competencies and empower young men and women,” he said.
The minister said that the consolidation of the role of young men and women in the media was among the ministry’s top priorities, through strategic plans to train them and enhance their professional aptitudes in order to boost the media sector in Bahrain.
“Interest in the youth is among the strategic priorities of the Government Action Plan that reinforce the role of youth centres and community organizations aiming to consolidate national unity. The government is genuinely interested in developing the youth sector and providing with a high number of plans and programmes that boost competencies and empower young men and women,” he said.
The minister pointed out that attentiveness to the youth sector in the Government Action Plan (GAP) has come in several themes of the strategic planning and programmes, including the sovereignty theme which consists of a priority strategy pertaining to the consolidation of national unity and amity between community members.
It is also related to boosting and supporting the role of youth centres and community institutions aimed to consecrating national unity, as part of quality programme initiatives under the priority strategy of boosting national unity and spreading the spirit of amity and forbearance as part of safeguarding security and attaining stability under the sovereign theme. Such planning to develop the youth sector will naturally transform into executive programmes from the youths-relevant institution which is the General Organization of Youth and Sports (GOYS), and when we speak about the contribution of youth in business entrepreneurship and the economy and undoubtedly there is another aspect of youth contribution under the current government programme which is an initiative to boost the growth of the private sector in the process of economic growth, via an executive youth training programme that encourages Bahraini youth in order to establish their own enterprises, boost SMEs, entrepreneurship, business nurseries and startups, and there is also another aspect from my point of view to support youth in the growth blueprint under the theme of human resources and social services development, and the priority of meeting youth requirements and the satisfaction of their wishes and their enablement to interact with the variable parameters of modern day age.
And regarding whether the Government has plans to seek assistance from youth in promotion of Bahrain's image abroad, Al Hammadi said that Bahrain over many years and in most of its participations abroad, there was remarkable youth presence in promotion of Bahrain's image abroad, and nowadays, we follow in the newspapers the current effort of some Bahraini NGOs such as in the "This is Bahrain" programme currently in Brussels, which is an admixture representing all of Bahrain's community, including youth category.
The Minister stressed the significant role of youth not only in promoting Bahrain abroad, but also in showcasing the Kingdom's impeccable profile abroad, and this is where the role and contribution of youth in the media comes; and, there is a plan by the Ministry of Information Affairs pertaining to external media and communication, there will also be a big and effective role for youth in implementing plans and organizing events that promote Bahrain.
And regarding whether there are any initiatives or plans for youth to attain leading positions, the Minister of Information said that from the Government's perspective, Bahraini youth after graduation from university have three practical options: either to work in the governmental sector, the private sector or business enterprises. The Public Administration Institute has more than one qualification, development and empowerment programme for youth to attain leadership positions in Bahrain starting from starting their career, there is a special programme for this stage, which is the Governmental Job Induction Scheme, that introduces youth to get to know the essence of governmental job and its requirements, there are also various vocational training courses and workshops, to gain various skills and expertise which enable Bahraini youth to acquire the necessary experience to assume their jobs, there is also the "Cadres" programme for youth qualification in supervisory positions to assume leadership positions; and, there is also "Leaders" programme that qualifies youth in the positions of general manager, section or division head to assume leading positions in the state at the level of general manager, director, assistant undersecretary, undersecretary, etc.
There is also the "executive leadership" programme which is the topmost level of programmes, and if a Bahrain youth assumes a governmental job, and prove their efficacy, activity, capability of performance, there is a vocational training programme to train, prepare them to attain leading positions, in addition to a set of specialized programmes which governmental bodies may implement. And since the beginning of the reform era of His Majesty the King, young leaders in various sectors have been empowered and we hope that the process will continue in future whilst taking into consideration those who have expertise, and should benefit from veteran expertise in order to positively develop work and in the private sector also has a role in qualifying youth through various distinctive programmes financed by the private sector, the Minister said.
And regarding major strategic programmes for youths sector development in the Kingdom, Al Hammadi said that the relevant executive planning body related to youth sector, namely the General Organization of Youth and Sports (GOYS) which lays down executive plans and which comes under the umbrella of the Supreme Council of Youth and Sport (SCYS), there is another type of cooperation between the SCYS and GOYS which has its detailed implementation plans, in terms of available capabilities they have to implement programmes, through clubs and youth centre, takes care of planning in cultural, literary and academic aspects; and, in the past we have seen there are continual programmes in the GOYS, and therefore, planning in this aspect contributes to the Government Action Plan in order to transform strategic priorities into practically measurable and realistic detailed executive programmes.
He said that the outcomes of the National Dialogue related to youth affairs have been implemented by the relevant governmental bodies and have been transformed into substantial reality by the executive branch , some of which have been transformed into legislative texts enacted reliant upon the outcomes of dialogue, for example the current Government Action Plan, as all the relevant youth views, and other views, etc, have been applied, and everybody can view the relevant website of the Government Action Plan, in order to verify that all the relevant youth views and others have been applied and can also find out how they have been applied and the type of programmes under which they have been applied.
The Minister of Information Affairs said that his meetings with youth are part of his work and responsibility and that he has always been keen on meeting all employees in the Corporation in order to listen to their opinions and suggestions and to familiarize with their concerns, and he promised them to remain available afield inside the sections, which is part of his constant communication with the, and now the responsibility on his shoulder is to translate the talks he had with them into practical reality in order to contribute into the development process in the Corporation, especially as these meetings did not assume the personal nature, but touched on the requirements and concerns, how to develop work, taking into consideration all existing remarks, remove barriers and failures. The Minister said that we have our national staff and we only need to provide them suitable environment in order to produce and push work forwards, hence we are working on organizing a workshop aimed to develop the media sector via development strategy with participation of many cadres from inside the Ministry and outside in which youth will be present
He said that part of features and characteristics of the media sector indicate it is a rejuvenating sector, which needs renewable ideas and energies in the sector, in order to preserve quality product and continuously positive relation with followers, and also the development process should be continual through work mechanisms, content, empowerment of existing cadres and development of innovative aspects they possess; and, youth have a spectacular huge role in this aspect, and during the recent period, there were many successful youth experiences in the Ministry, as everybody remembers the role of Youth Radio, the activation of the role of youth in the Ministry of Information comes within the space of their innovative production and responsibility for preparation, presentation, production of constructive programmes that discuss issues of the community, which is present on real ground, most of our daily and weekly programmes rely on considerable youth contributions, such as (Hala Bahrain), (Heni Bahrain), and (Kalima Akheera) programmes, preparation teams consist of a large percentage of innovative youth, many radio programmes are prepared and presented by youths, youths are present in most works we produce, undoubtedly we need to increase the percentage of youth working in the media sector, this is according to the intake capacity of the organizational structure, the process of renovation continues, and whenever there are vacancies, priority goes to youth, we are in a time in which we need to empower youth and to benefit from their positive energies, the Minister added.
And regarding futuristic plans to develop the efficiency of youth working in the media sector, he said that vocational training is significantly important to develop youth efficacy, and also academic knowledge gathering is a basic part in the formation of Bahraini youths to possess the requisite skills to enter the labour market, because practical training gives youths the latest developments and updates in required programmes and skills, and also gives youth access to skills on practical requirements, and this would contribute in this field, and we have more than one programme of vocational training which will be activate further in the upcoming period, through increasing training programmes, and we will create more than one type of fixed methodical mechanism, so that every Bahraini youth can enter in the corporation more than programme available for him/her to vocationally quality and to reach the requisite level which enables them to undertake their duties in the required manner.
And regarding the development of work in the Ministry, the Minister of Information Affairs said that the Bahrain Radio and TV Corporation (BRTC) is an official corporation, and in past y ears, we have seen there the concept of more than one separate channels that broadcast and operated, and if we remember in the past 12 years or so, there has been a special sports channel, a special youths radio which did not exist in the past, and recently have been merged into the general radio broadcast, and we endevour in the upcoming period to give them their due right to have a presence and interaction, and there is the idea to develop and revitalize them. It would be quite easy to establish any channel but it would be too difficult to find an excellent professional work team capable of its management and continuity so that the content offered to the public would be effective to attract and retain viewers and listeners. And in view of competition we wage in the media field, we transmit to a larger audience, we receive countless number of TV and radio channels, therefore, the content we broadcast should be of high quality and competitiveness, the re-broadcasting of youth radio follows the basics to produce the requisite standard, we must have a student-, graduate-embracing media environment for University of Bahrain and other universities students, graduates to provide them the opportunity to innovate and present their ideas, and upon passing process implementation phases their products may be broadcast and become reliable.
And regarding university outputs in the media discipline, the Minister said: "My span on the position has not allowed me the opportunity to meet our youths from university, especially media colleges and departments, but in future we will meet them and there will be continuous meetings, to coordinate and train them practically much more and to provide them the opportunity to contribute in practical work available, not only their attendance on work field confined to garnering knowledge but also to practice day-to-day work and contribute to it.
In answer to a question regarding the launching of a Bahrain youths channel, the Minister said there is no chance to launch a specialized youths-only channels as far as I can see under present plans and requirements, but I see youth should not restrict their presence to one youth channel but should be present in all channels, and their contributions should basically be in developing, broadcasting and evaluating content, and we are dealing with reality, and we have several channels in which we can activate youth aspect much more.
And regarding boosting youth awareness on using modern media and communication channels, the Minister of Information Affairs said that modern social communication media is a very sensitive and objective device in the hands of all, and that in the past someone might discuss his opinion in his personal ambience, acquaintances, in a majlis and that is the end of it, but through mass media, someone can say and publish what he says all over the world, without exaggeration.
The Minister said that there is need for awareness, because it would be too dangerous for anybody who transcends legal limits to become accountable before the law, which may affect their social, security, personal status and future. Awareness is needed, it begins from the home, parents have a considerable, basic role to orient their children and youth to use a media tool in the perfect manner, and to explain that the media have sensitivity and should be dealt with cautiously. We see in content that some were talking about beliefs and neighboring countries, young men and women may be held accountable before the law which may affect their future. Therefore, educational and civil society institutions have a big role to orient youth on the perfect use of such media because there is now no privacy preservation in such media whatsoever the variation of methods and basics. Awareness is very essential and a common responsibility. We wish from youths to use the media positively. I can see that the majority of youth use them positively, although there are some misuses committed through these media, which does not suit the nature of our society and us as Bahrainis, and the choosing of language and vocabulary gives an impression about the personality of the community and its inner transactions. I opine that the use of the media comes as part of the individual's personality management and the user should be wise and well-informed because the image which they produce will reach everybody almost in no time.

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