"Media and Civil Peace"
Under the banner of “Media and Civil Peace”, the third version of the Arab Gulf Media Forum is to kick-start this year amid a turbulent atmosphere in the States of the region, especially with the scourge of extremism and terrorism and the increasing violence and unrest as well as the mounting conflicts and war and their repercussions on regional security and stability. The Forum comes as a suitable platform to promote the culture of democracy in the Gulf communities.
This atmosphere works on immunizing the internal front against all attempts of infiltration in the Gulf communities that may spread conflicts, intolerance and sedition and impair the community’s national unity, which is a prerequisite and a shared responsibility for the consolidation of the pillars of civil peace through the adoption of sound concepts that can promote dialogue, tolerance, respect of pluralism and acceptance of others without exception.
Within this context, the concept of Media and Civil Peace is in consonance with the divine and heavenly teachings, let alone man-made laws, given that the normal instinct of human beings is in favour of the principles of peace, forgiveness and tolerance.
The role of the Media Forum workshops aim at instilling and promoting Media and Civil Peace, which presupposes everyone’s contributions to maintaining an ever- lasting peace that rejects all forms of violence and conflicts and any attitude that encourages and justifies them because social peace can only be achieved through respect for social and intellectual diversity and pluralism within the community.
The forum, held by the Bahrain Institute for Political Development (BIPD), for the third consecutive year, is a continuation of the goals of the two previous forums that worked on mobilizing, motivating and strengthening media to enhance the values and culture of democracy, peaceful coexistence and acceptance of the culture of difference, tolerance and acceptance of the other.
They also aimed to promote the values of intolerance and foster a media discourse that accommodates all differences and historical disparities among people.
These goals can only be achieved through development of a Gulf media discourse, and directing it towards formulating a new system that respects historical differences and rejects the statements and messages that may instigate hostility and social divide.
And like the two previous versions, this forum is being held this year to promote the values of peaceful coexistence, tolerance, acceptance of others and rejection of the values of intolerance and for this it is hosting an elite of Gulf and Arab intellects and politicians to enrich the discussions with their visions and ideas in order to reach new formulas and enhance the efficiency of the Gulf media discourse and encourage it to foster the Culture of Civil Peace, and strengthen the values of social coexistence, on the basis of openness and enhancement of shared denominators.
The forum sessions
The first session: The role of traditional media in promoting the Media and Civil Peace (Press- TV – Radio)
The first session discussions focus on the role of traditional media (Press- TV – Radio) as a platform to highlight the principles and values of the Media and Civil Peace, maintain the pillars of modern democratic and civil State, and how to avoid misusing these platforms as tools to disseminate extremism and terrorism.
The session also aims to ensure the accuracy and objectivity of media discourse content and focuses on the reciprocal interaction between conventional media and the existing intellectual and ideological trends, media ability to accommodate social contradictions, the various political trends and the integration of all social forces.
The session will also present some realistic models of conventional media content and their role in promoting the Media and Civil Peace through adherence to the values of objectivity, free exchange of opinions and ideas, as well as emphasis on the values of modernity and enlightenment.
The second session: New media... exclusion and assimilation
The session deals with new media risks on the Gulf community’s unity with the emergence of new media as an important player in the media sector, and the intellectual and behavioral abnormalities that have accompanied the current media discourse. .
The session also compares between the new and conventional media in terms of extent of assimilation of the Media and Civil Peace, and whether the new media are able to absorb community contradictions and not to aggravate them.
Besides, the session discusses the role of the state in absorbing the role of new media and reducing their social risks on the Media and Civil Peace.
The third session: Promoting Media and Civil Peace
The session addresses two main topics which are the mechanisms and bases of media discourse in addition to the legislations capable of securing civil peace.
The session also focuses on setting specific frameworks to come up with unbiased media that sustain the Media and Civil Peace and highlight the importance of dialogue among the different media channels as well as develop a media code of honour, based on media’s philosophy, dialogue and media ethics and functions to support the values of civil peace.
The session also aspires to develop special terminology and techniques that serve the media of civil peace for better assimilation of the literal meanings of used words and avoid any erroneous interpretation of their implications.