UAE youth minister announces Arab Youth Media Initiative

UAE youth minister announces Arab Youth Media Initiative
Shamma Al-Mazrui, UAE’s minister of state for youth
Updated 02 May 2017

UAE youth minister announces Arab Youth Media Initiative

UAE youth minister announces Arab Youth Media Initiative

DUBAI: The UAE’s Minister of State for Youth Shamma Al-Mazrui on Monday announced the formation of an Arab Youth Media Initiative.
Al-Mazrui, who was appointed to the ministerial position in 2016 at the age of 22, spoke to a crowd of journalists and industry experts at the 16th edition of the Arab Media Forum in Dubai, and shed light on the regional media’s relationship with Arab youth — a strong demographic across the Middle East.
“Some see youth as a danger or a burden, but they are an opportunity,” she said.
Al-Mazrui stated her aim to prepare a new generation of media professionals before turning the crowd’s attention to a video on the Arab Youth Media Initiative which, once established, will seek to lead a new generation of young media professionals from 22 countries to inspire and spread Arabic content.
Al-Mazrui was joined on stage by Ahmed Al-Jbreen, cofounder of Riyadh-based digital marketing firm Smaat Co.
Al-Jbreen spoke about the speed at which news can be received today, saying previous generations received news weekly or even monthly, whereas today, we can access information “by the minute” due to the rise of social media.
This, he said, is a source of “unprecedented power” for Arab youth who can now put their issues — such as unemployment or the arts — firmly on the agenda as they have a newfound voice.
“Young people thought conventional media didn’t represent them,” he said, adding that social media has “enabled them.”
Noting that Arab youth had evolved from “receptors” of online information to “creators of content,” Al-Jbreen called for governments and media organizations to provide training to young Arabs to cement their role in the field.
“Our voices, as Arabs, can be heard across the world, especially with social media,” he said.
The 2017 edition of the two-day Arab Media Forum is held under the theme of “Civil Dialogue” and will see more than 3,000 participants and industry experts come together to discuss the media’s role in promoting peaceful coexistence and tolerance.