Misuse of media threatens national security, stability

President of Information Affairs Authority (IAA), Ali Al-Rumaihi,President of Information Affairs Authority (IAA), Ali Al-Rumaihi, warned that misuse of media presents a serious challenge to the national security and stability of the region.

Al-Rumaihi in a statement on convening the 1st GCC Media Forum stressed the importance of convening the forum at this defining moment amid global media strides.

He pointed out the security challenges as certain media and telecommunications misuse the atmosphere of openness and modern technologies to threaten national security, spread lies and rumours, foment sectarian seditions and endangering civil and community peace through incitement on violence and terror.

He stressed the need for the media to commit to the deontological ethics, strike a balance between the freedom of opinion and respect of international rights covenants and media conventions, and ensuring accuracy, objectivity, credibility, community and national responsibility.

The 1st GCC Media Forum themed Mass Media and Telecommunications and their impact on National Security began on Monday in Manama.

The two-day forum is being held in the Kingdom of Bahrain under the auspices of the Information Affairs Authority (IAA) with participation of 150 GCC experts including GCC Information Ministers, specialised media and telecommunications professionals and academicians.

The forum, which features four key sessions, will bring together 150 GCC media officials, including ministers, media and telecommunications experts, academic figures and specialists.

The first session was held under the theme: “Mass media between the right to exercise the profession and the limits to protect national security”. Saudi Jamal Kashoogi, Bahraini Anwar Abdulrahman, Emirati Mohammed Al-Hamadi, Kuwaiti Ahmed Al-Fahd will attend the session, which will be moderated by Qatari Dr. Ahmed Abdulmalak.

The second session, was moderated by Omani Aida Al-Zadjali, will spotlight the issue of social media and its problematic relation with the freedom of expression and the protection of national security. The platform brought together Kuwaiti Dr. Sajid Al-Abdelli, Bahraini Colonel Mohammed bin Daina, Qatari Jaber Al-Jermi and Saudi Saleh Al-Shahi.

The second day of the 1st GCC Media Forum will also feature two main session with the first put uunder the theme “e-Content in Social Media Websites”. Moderated by Emirati Dr. Maitha’a Al-Hameli, the platform will bring together Ali Sebkar and Mohammed Al-Arab from Bahrain, along with Qatari Jassim Salman, Omani Salma Al-Hajri and Kuwaiti Hend Al-Nahedh.
The fourth session will discuss “media legislations: freedom of opinion guarantees and protection of national security”.

The GCC information ministers will attend the session, set to be moderated by Kuwait-based Arab Media Forum secretary-general Madhi Al-Khamis. IAA Mass media director and head of the organizing committee Yusuf Mohammed said that six GCC radio pioneers would be honoured on the sidelines of the 1st GCC Media Forum in recognition of their dedicated contribution.

The scroll of honorees includes Emarat FM president Yacoub Yusuf Al-Roussi, former Radio Bahrain Abdulrahman Abdulla, Saudi Culture and Information Minister’s advisor Ibrahim bin Ahmed Saleh, former Radio Oman director-general Shaikh Ali bin Abdulla bin Suleiman Al-Majeeni, first Qatar Rdio first presenter and advisor Aisha Hassan Ali Malalla and Kuwaiti Information Ministry Assistant Undersecretary for Radio Affairs Yusuf Mustapha Abdulla.

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