Ministry to regulate electronic media

MUSCAT: Ali bin Khalfan al Jabri, Under-secretary of the Ministry of Information, gave an orientation lecture in Majlis Ash’shura on the Sultanate’s Media Policy, and the role of the Ministry of Information in various aspects related to the media sector, new media, compiled books publications and other competencies assigned to the Ministry. The lecture was attended by Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammad al Nadabi, Secretary-General of Majlis Ash’shura and a number of members of Majlis Ash’shura. The Information under-secretary focused on clarifying the balanced media policy of the Sultanate, indicating that the Ministry is responsible for organising the media sector in the Sultanate, monitoring the implementation of the media policy and preparing plans and training programmes.
Al Jabri stressed that the ministry has recently finished drafting a unified media law aimed at gathering various types of media under the umbrella of a single law. He added that in the next stage, the Ministry will also regulate the electronic media under Community Media Centre which conducts scientific studies in cooperation with Sultan Qaboos University. He also touched on the role of the Oman News Agency (ONA) in broadcasting the official news with all credibility. He said that it has expanded its activity gradually and significantly, as the number of its local correspondents reached 55, in addition to 11 external correspondents. He also referred to the Press and Publications Law, as well as the Publications and Publishing Committee, which is supervised by the Ministry.
In the field of external media, he explained that the Ministry has made a great effort in this field. During the past year, about 256 journalists from different countries of the world visited the Sultanate. In addition to the Sultanate’s participation in many book fairs in various countries, including Paris Book fair and Brunei Book Fair, where the Sultanate was the Guest of Honour. He added that the Sultanate is seeking to participate in the Frankfurt International Book Fair during the upcoming sessions of the exhibition, which will be a cultural achievement by the Sultanate at the international level.
On the media side, Al Jabri said that the Ministry launched a media platform that is a huge electronic portal with very rich content. He added that it contains the Royal Speeches of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, in addition to all copies of Oman Book, issued by the Ministry of Information. The portal has links for the Oman News Agency, newspapers, the Public Authority for Radio and Television and the private radio stations. It was launched in three languages, Arabic, English and French. He added that hopefully it will include other languages. At the end of the lecture a discussion was held on developing the media aspects. — ONA