"More Emiratis in Press" a National Aspiration, Lectures Media Researcher

03 Mar 2020

The UAE demands more young and vibrant Emirati Media Specialists and writers, "The Filed simply broadens their path to play a greater role in the community as part of the nation's aspirations," said Noura Al Obeidly, a doctoral researcher at The University of Westminster, London, recently stated.

During her lecture, which was organized at Zayed University campus in Abu Dhabi, titled "Emirati Women: Creating A Narrative for Empowerment Through Journalism," she urged the students to dive into journalism and take it as a career path.

The lecture was prepared by the Press Club, which is affiliated with the College of Communication and Media Sciences at Zayed University.

Al Obeidly reviewed historical introductions to the development of the media voice of Emirati women, through which she pointed out that the role of women began to dim in the context of oral composition, and the associated culture and public awareness, where only a rare presence was recorded for them, particularly in colloquial poetry.

"Practicing journalism in The Emirates began as early as the 1920s, in Sharjah. We can relate to Ibrahim Mohammed Al Medfaa, who published Oman in 1927. In the early 1930s, Mosabah Obaid Al Dhaheri, from Al Ain, who created Al Nikhi."

She further added, "In 1933 a group of young individuals from Dubai and Sharjah created Sout Al Asafeer. We also had Humaid Nasser Al Owais, and Abdullah Salem Al Omran created Al Diyar in 1961."

"In 1965, the first radio station (Sawt Al Sahel) was inaugurated in Sharjah. In 1969, Abu Dhabi Television was inaugurated. October 1969, Al Ittihad newspaper was printed in Abu Dhabi, followed by Al Khaleej in Sharjah in 1970, and Al-Bayan in Dubai in 1980. Then the Emirates News Agency (WAM) was inaugurated in 1977."

Al-Obaidli pointed out that the significant development achieved in the press as an industry and as a profession in the UAE has given successive generations of Emirati women many opportunities to motivate them to join the march and prove their presence and effectiveness in the profession. "Many Emiratis benefited from the great care offered to Journalists, we read their stories in the newspapers and social media every day, whether in practices of Journalistic work such as news, investigations, and analyzes or views in columns, articles, and others."

Also, the civilizational development witnessed by the state during the past decades provided Emirati women with opportunities that were motivational to play active roles in various fields. Among these opportunities is the effective transmission of messages that educate people about women-related causes and influences public opinion. Create an awakening in women to achieve their potential as prime movers of change in society through traditional and digital media platforms.

The lecture addressed several challenges that young Emirati women have faced recently and have reduced their intention to engage in journalistic work, as they have started a continuous discussion about personal growth versus professional growth, the working conditions in the profession, such as night shift and travel for assignments abroad.

She pointed out that the lack of sufficient knowledge of the Arabic and English languages ​​constitutes another obstacle to developing the skills that qualify them to master the journalistic work, in addition to the emergence of public relations agencies and increasing reliance on them, which limits the practice of real journalism.

The Emirati researcher holds an M.A. in Strategic Public Relations and a B.A. in Communication and Media Studies from Zayed University.