Media Policy of A’Shura Council

Believing in the importance of media in the legislative field as a vital enabler, the Shura Council accords a great care to this vital tool in its various activities and programs related to the parliamentary media in order to establish an effective communication channel with various authorities and local community actors. The media policy of Shura Council comes within the Council’s efforts to identify clear features and foundations and build a solid ground to enable the Council and its various organs to deal with all means of media. This, therefore, can preserve the rights of all stakeholders and strength the relations with different parties. In making this policy, we have taken into account the interest of the nation, as well as its security safety, stability and unity.

In designing our media policy, we have benefited from different experiences, taking into consideration various sources such as the Basic Statute of the State, Omani relative laws, the Shura Council’s Internal Regulations and other national sources.

I.    Concepts 

Media policy:   it supervises media in the institution and orientates it to achieve its goals.
Parliamentary media: It is a field of media which covers all activities of the Council and its members. It discusses and analyses everything related to the Council such as debates, views and decisions to promote the culture of participation and transparency between the Council and the community.

II.  Goals

According to the legislative and oversight competences of the Council, the community depends on A’Shura Council to promote the sustainable development march in the Sultanate. The community, therefore, needs to follow up the Council’s works keep pace with its updates. The media policy of Shura Council aims to achieve two basic goals as follows:

1- Raising the public awareness by highlighting the legislative and oversight efforts exerted by the Council in various fields and levels through using different media tools.
2- Consolidating the community participation principles between the Council and the public using modern media tools to enhance the mutual confidence.

III. Principles and Ethics of the Council’s Media Policy

1) Neutrality and Objectivity: Media in the Council requires neutrality and objectivity when covering the news. No party should be preferred over the other one. Media should deal with events in a logical manner far from any hidden agenda, or affiliations and loyalties to any parties
2)  Responsibility: Media requires the highest level of responsibility when it comes to honesty, sincerity and selection of reliable sources authorized by the administration. Media should put forward accurate and clear questions without distorting the facts, ambiguity and confusion which would affect the real image.
 3) Permission: It is very important to take into consideration the rules of institutional work with regard to publication of various issues and topics related to parliamentary work, and obtain permission from the competent and authorized staff in the Council to publish any information about the Council’s events.
4) Commitment: Media of the Council stems from the national interest; therefore, it is necessary to adhere to the principles of national work, and refrain from anything that might disturb the public order.

IV.  Pillars of Media policy

1- Integrity: the media policy of the Council and its implementation should not be in conflict with the public policy of the state, laws and regulations in force.
2- Privacy: the media policy of the Council should take into consideration the specificity of the parliamentary media, the way of presenting information and the possible impact on the audiences.
3-  Interactivity: the media policy of the Council is based on creating an effective and interacting media that addresses various issues of the society.
4- Transparency and sincerity: the media policy of the Council focuses on providing transparent and sincere media materials that strengthens the confidence of the community in Council.
5- Accessibility: the media policy of the Council makes the public acquainted with the Council efforts and roles in accordance with its legislative and oversight competences.
6- Precedence: the media policy of the Council takes into consideration being precedent in publishing the news and choosing the suitable time for publication.

V.   Media Policy Terms:
1- The Secretary General of the Council shall be responsible for the administration and implementation of the media policy.
2- The Secretary General shall be the official spokesperson of the Council.
3- The Head of each Standing Committee of the Council shall be the official spokesperson for the Committee works and activities.
4- The Media Department shall oversee the daily coverage of different internal and external activities of the Council as per the terms of reference of media department. The staff shall adhere to the principles and pillars of media policy.
5- The Media Department shall not be responsible for covering the member’s activities held in their Wilayats (districts). They should coordinate with the Wilayats reporters to cover their activities.
6- The Council doesn’t have authority to control what is published in the independent local newspapers as they are independent institutions.
7- Members of the Council are not entitled to interfere in the media affairs of the Council’s accounts and its press releases. If they have comments, they may refer them to Council Bureau.
8- The Media Department shall monitor everything published about the Council on various media platforms.
9- The Media Department shall respond to and correct any false information   published about the Council in order to maintain the reputation of the Council and its members, using the same tools.
10- The Media Department shall prepare press statements in coordination with the members of the Council to highlight the subjects and issues discussed by the Council. The media department, however, is not responsible for what is stated by the members if they have not coordinated with the department.
11-  The Chairman may delegate employees from media department to cover the internal and external participations of the Council. 
12-   The employees accompanying the Council’s delegations shall cover the participation of the Council.
13- The Media Department shall oversee all publications and information issued in the name of the Council. Every department or section   should not issue any publication without counselling    the media department.
14. The editorial team of Shura Magazine shall prepare and edit the content of the Magazine which is issued every three months, in accordance with the Chairman Decision which determines the editorial team, its functions and terms of reference.
15. The Media Department shall oversee the administration and following-up of the social networks of the Council. The unauthorized are not entitled to publish any information regarding the Council as per the electronic participation policy of the Council.
16. The Media Department shall manage the website and feed it with the media materials. It should also monitor the followers’ comments through the interactive platform on the website.
17- The Media Department shall cover the joint internal and external participations of the Oman Council chambers in accordance with the vision adopted by the two councils.
18. The media department shall determine the publications (daily newspapers, periodicals or magazines) to which the Council subscribes. The Finance Department shall finalize the financial procedures of the subscriptions, while the Service Department shall distribute those publications to the various departments of the Council in accordance with the registers proposed by media department.
19. The Media Department shall coordinate the communication between the Council and the external media bodies.
20. The Media Department shall be responsible for establishing relations with newspapers and journalists inside and outside the Sultanate.
21. The Public Relations Department, in coordination with the Security Office, shall establish the conditions of granting the entry permission to journalists and citizens during the Council activities. The Media Department shall provide the Security Office with the names of journalists before holding the event.
22. The Media Department shall follow up the implementation the Council Identity.
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