The Information Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) concluded their seventh session today in Jeddah. The conference addressed current challenges faced by the Muslim world, including misconceptions of Islam, and how to deal with them. Joint media strategies were a key issue.
They issued a final communiqué approving a number of decisions at the end of the session. The ministers agreed that collective media action is needed in order to coordinate with the international media and address some of the misconceptions about Islam. To that end, a ministerial supervisory committee was tasked with preparing an integrated action plan directed at the non-Muslim world using languages it understands. The committee is to be assisted by a panel of experts that will set out the plans and programs.
The communiqué recommended forming a specialized panel of experts to draft a code of ethics for the Islamic media. The ministers also urged the OIC media to promote diversity, pluralism and the principles of the Islamic nation.
The ministers also called for the International Islamic News Agency (IINA) to be restructured in order to increase its efficiency. A board of trustees chaired by the Saudi Minister of Culture and Information would oversee IINA’s overhaul.
In addition, they recommended that the Islamic States Broadcasting Organization (ISBO be developed into the Islamic States Broadcasting Union. A board of trustees would be tasked with performing a study on ISBO and preparing a charter and action plan.
In a press conference after the conclusion of the conference, Minister of Culture and Information Iyad Madani said that the programs and projects outlined in the final communiqué would be financed by a special fund to which OIC member countries would contribute.