At IBU meeting, UNA chief highlights Union’s efforts to support journalists to fight COVID-19

At IBU meeting, UNA chief highlights Union's efforts to support journalists to fight COVID-19

Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – The Union of News Agencies (UNA) participated in the sixth meeting of the Holy Quran radio stations organized by the Islamic Broadcasting Union (IBU) on Monday via videoconference, under the theme “The Role of the Holy Quran radio stations in the fight against coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)”.

Acting UNA Director-General Ahmed bin Abdullah Al-Qarni, in his speech delivered on his behalf by Assistant Director-General Mohamed Al-Yami, stressed the importance of the meeting as it responds to the requirements of the current circumstances in the entire world, in the heart of which is the Islamic world.

During the meeting, attended by IBU Director-General Mohamed Salem Ould Bouka, with the participation of the directors of the Holy Quran radio stations in the Islamic World: Al-Yami said, “UNA and IBU are partners in the media task – they complement each other. This is the time and role of the well-disciplined institutions that adhere very strictly to the genuine scientific and methodological rules. How great when media is controlled by the Holy Quran.”

He explained that UNA was quick to respond early to the consequences of this pandemic, through enlightened media cooperation with member news agencies, within the overall work system of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which has mobilized all its powers, resources and capabilities, as well as the capacities of its organs and institutions to provide support and assistance to the member states in the fight against this pandemic that confused the world.

Al-Yami indicated that the Union launched its first media forum entitled “The Role of News Agencies in Supporting Anti-Coronavirus Efforts” on 23 Ramadan 1441 AH (16 May 2020), under the patronage of Acting Media Minister, Chairman of the UNA Executive Council Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi, in the presence of the OIC Secretary General, officials of the OIC’s organs and institutions, directors of news agencies, and representatives of the OIC member states.

He noted that the forum came out with a set of recommendations that served as a roadmap and a program of action for reliable and disciplined official media outlets, particularly the official news agencies, radio stations and TV channels, to fulfill their responsibilities and to restore their roles, in which some commercial media and social media chaos have attempted to compete them.

The Assistant Director-General stressed that the most important outcome of the UNA Forum was the training program to develop the skills of media professionals of the official and disciplined media institutions, to keep pace with this pandemic and enable these institutions to restore their roles. He added that the program aims, in its first stage to train 2,200 media personnel, in partnership with IBU and the OIC Department of Information, spelling out that two workshops were conducted within this program in Arabic and French on “Methods of fact-checking news during crises and spread of rumors”. Both workshops benefited 300 media professionals.

Al-Yami announced that within the framework of the training program, the Union will launch on Tuesday a media forum that will host in its first edition, via Zoom, OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen.

He stated that the forum will be followed, on Wednesday, by the third workshop on “Media dealings with child rights implications in light of the coronavirus pandemic”. The workshop will be held in cooperation with the Arab Council for Childhood and Development (ACCD), and in partnership with the Islamic Broadcasting Union and the OIC Department of Information.

At the conclusion of his speech, Al-Yami thanked the government of Saudi Arabia, led by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, for the unlimited support to the Union whose headquarters is based in the Kingdom and for the provision of every assistance that enables the Union to assume its role in serving media in the OIC countries.

AB/UNA-OIC

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