Global Media Congress: UAE expert calls to equip youths with new media skills for future

Youngsters need to learn more technological skills and the use of new gadgets to create their own content and spread information on various digital platform

by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Tue 15 Nov 2022, 8:28 PM

Last updated: Tue 15 Nov 2022, 9:27 PM

The youths need to be prepared and well-equipped with new and relevant media and technological skills because they are the ones to shape the future, said a top UAE media professional.

In a discussion on "Investing in creative skills of today's youth to work in the media of tomorrow" at the Global Media Congress in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, Mona Al Marri, Director-General, Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), said in a world of rapid change young people need the right mix of skills to thrive.


“We need to invest more in the youths. Young people in the Arab region need to develop a greater breadth of media skills and technology to evaluate and apply knowledge in ways that meet the new demands of the media industry,” she said.

“The Media is transforming rapidly and young people need to focus on the skills needed in the future to foster thoughtful, productive, and engaged citizens.”


Al Marri noted that youngsters need to learn more technological skills and the use of new gadgets to create their own content and spread information on various digital platforms.

“It is crucial for the youths to learn new skills on how to convey information very quickly on social media and in an accurate and ethical manner,” she said.

“Digital analysis is very important for the future. There is need to know where your content reaches, who are the people you are targeting, need to post the right content and on the right social media platforms and at the right time.”

According to Al Marri, the UAE has already taken big steps to equip its young generation with the skills required to face future challenges in various fields thereby creating a strong human capital.

She said that several initiatives and programs have been launched in the UAE to train the youths and prepare them for the media industry.

“The UAE offers many education and training opportunities to support cultural professionals and youth to acquire more experience, skills, and knowledge in media sectors,” said Al Marri adding that there was need to provide the youths in the region with opportunities to work in the media.

She also advised media institutions to invest more in new technologies to promote their digital platforms to tap into the bigger audience of youngsters.

“Media houses need to embrace change. Youngsters are now spending more time on social media platforms than television or other media platforms and this is where they consume most of their content and information,” said Al Marri.

The official noted that previously, media corporations were in control of information. But currently, social media platforms have taken over and that this need to change.

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Need to embrace new technologies

In a different panel discussion on “Highlighting new and future investment opportunities in media from across the globe”, Hon Monica Mutsvangwa, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, (Zimbabwe) said governments and media outlets need to change from dialogue to digital to attract the young generation.

“We need to invest in Artificial Intelligence, social media and other digital platforms. But also we have to look at the challenges involved such as spreading of fake news and inaccurate information and inappropriate content so as to protect the young generation,” she said.

Ramzan bin Abdulla Al Nuaimi, Minister, Information Affairs (Bahrain) said human capital is very important and crucial for the future. “The young generation need to be well equipped with the skills, new technologies such as the Metaverse because they have more influence about the future and governments need to focus more on this,” he said.


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