Media is one of the most powerful tools of transformation in any society with a tremendously constructive role to play in its evolution. It provides readers with the ability to distinguish right from wrong.
Though a few sections of society in recent times have alleged that the media has also brought attention to itself for its proclivity for sensationalism and distorting facts — this is an exception rather than the norm.
Harnessing the true power of media, the Sharjah government has established the Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC) as a way of communication between public, government departments and the society and world at large.
"The world is progressing in every walk of life and the media has played a constructive role in it. It has also played an important role at any community," said Shaikh Sultan Bin Ahmad Al Qasimi, chairman of Sharjah Media Corporation.
In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, Shaikh Sultan spoke of the various facets of the media — idea deliverance, import of messages and establishing points of view to the world — that work together to create a positive uplift in social development. In doing this, it creates another positive force — transparency. "The Sharjah Media Corporation," he said, "aims at establishing transparency among government departments.
"My statement of intent to the media and government relations is to share timely and accurate information and the Sharjah Media Centre, which is under the umbrella of SMC, will enable the projection of a balanced picture of Sharjah in the local, regional and international media," he said.
"We will provide the true voice of Sharjah." The centre will also ensure that information is provided quickly and efficiently. Such an approach, he added, will ensure that Sharjah's image is better understood.
A good recent example of how the Sharjah Media Corporation handled information was to do with the issue of the closure of petrol stations in the emirate. By giving out timely information, it pre-empted speculative and incorrect reporting on the issue.
In order to move towards a concerted goal of media excellence, the personnel at the press offices of ministries and senior government officials in Sharjah will be trained and briefed to ensure they connect and engage well with all kinds of media. "We will facilitate access to key government officials and provide clarity around the government's position."
The Sharjah Media Corporation also provides tailor-made media training and briefings to senior level government officials to better equip them in addressing the media in a manner that is seamlessly aligned with the objectives of the Emirate.
The Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC) was established as an independent corporation to cover all media needs of the emirate in a world where the media is playing an increasingly important role in showcasing civilisation and humanities.
The centre also stresses on the virtues of unbiased and accurate reporting by Emirati or expatriate reporters, who, it believes, shoulder great responsibility while covering news and events in the world. They must pursue transparency and be free of prejudice or partisan views. A reporter's information can affect an entire nation. Therefore, the golden rule of reporting upholds accuracy, fairness and open-mindedness in the dissemination of information.
Sharjah Media Corporation (SMC) was established under the direction of His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, in order to highlight the emirate's development and provide a correct perspective on Sharjah.
It wants to educate foreign reporters about Sharjah as a family-friendly and safe emirate. Reporters who approach the centre will be provided in-depth knowledge on the culture and background of the emirate, which is considered an immensely beautiful and interesting tourist destination.