A GCC meet on satellite TV concluded yesterday with calls to address the challenges posed by offensive programming and establishing of a regulatory environment that maintains media freedom and preserves traditional values of the region.
“The GCC secretariat general should adopt and follow up the initiatives of HH Sheikha Mozah Nasser al-Misnad to address offensive channels and offset their ethical threats,” said Abdullah bin Nasser al-Khalifa, secretary general, of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs. He was reading a communiqué issued yesterday.
Participants at the ‘Satellite Channels and Ethical and Moral Challenges Facing Gulf Youth Forum’ also called for regulating satellite broadcasting in a way that maintains the balance between transmission freedom and community responsibility.
They recommended judicial co-operation among Gulf States to ensure the implementation of verdicts against offensive channels.
Participants also recommended setting up a Gulf watchdog to maintain the ethical and professional commitment of satellite channels, a mechanism to prevent exploitation of youth by telecommunication companies through satellite TV, and the adoption of information education within educational programmes.
“We call for setting up of satellite TV and media production that preserves social and moral values, and to integrate Gulf youth in the film, theatre and TV industry, aiming to reflect morals and values and to encourage or fund their efforts,” he said.
Al-Khalifa said Gulf media should promote human values taking into account the identity of various communities. He also called for more field research to identify content for Gulf youth and children.
“This will help us in identifying the problems and the right solutions for them,” he said.
Al-Khalifa said the participants suggested implementation mechanisms such as the launching of a media campaign in the Gulf, under the patronage of HH Sheikha Mozah, to raise awareness about the dangers of offensive channels.
The participants suggested an annual prize for the best channel.
During a press conference held following the closing ceremony, Doha Media Freedom Center Deputy director general Mariam al-Khater launched a public campaign against offensive channels.
“We want to raise awareness among the youth and their parents about the dangers of these offensive channels on our values. The number of such channels is increasing and their only motive is profit.”
Al-Khater explained that the campaign’s aim is to establish support groups among youth to play a role in the preservation of their values and identity, and to encourage TV officials to produce constructive programmes.
She stressed that self-commitment is the most important tool in the process of confronting satellite TV.
Al-Khater also launched the campaign’s special website ‘Fadakom.com’ which will be a forum for youth to express their opinion about satellite TV.
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