This lecture will discuss the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may God rest his soul in peace) in regard to the media through three main perspectives.
The first perspective centers on how the media was created, by looking at how it was used to support establishing the Union of the United Arab Emirates, as well as how it promoted the country’s projects internally and its relations with the world—all considered an early example of using soft power.
The second perspective explores the contents of the media during Sheikh Zayed’s reign, such as consolidating freedom of speech and expression; promoting values of culture, thought, and transparency; and working toward conveying an honest message to UAE society. These contents serve as a reference for Emirati media today, considering the unprecedented decline of the media in general, and its empty and, at times, unethical content.
The third perspective is Sheikh Zayed’s contribution to the Arab media industry. He focused on Arab culture and always referred to it in most of his statements, speeches, and meetings. He also provided direct support to the media to achieve its objectives, including national goals in times of peace, war, and great strife.
These three perspectives clearly demonstrate the positive employment of the media in Sheikh Zayed’s vision. He believed that the media was a necessary cultural enlightenment for the UAE and a synonym for education—all in a climate of freedom accompanied with responsibility. This has made the UAE a model on the Arab and international levels, which now enjoys a powerful media.