The National Media Council, NMC, has accredited five entities in its “Content Self-Monitoring Programme” in an effort to assist operations at bookshops and publishing houses and to promote writing, publishing and reading in the UAE.
The programme allows publishers, distributors and bookshops to evaluate the content of books by themselves, improve circulation, drive the development of the entire publishing industry, in line with the council’s vision and strategies for the sector.
During its participation in the Sharjah International Book Fair 2018, the council signed these agreements with bookshops and publishing houses that had successfully completed the training portion of the programme.
The five entities that signed the MoUs are now certified and accredited by the NMC, which allows them to monitor the contents of books by themselves. They are: Al Maya Global Library – Borders, Kinokuniya Bookstore, Magrudy Projects, Sybel Book Distribution, and Jashanmal National Company.
Commenting on the accreditation of the five entities, Dr. Rashid Al Nuaimi, NMC’s Executive Director of Media Affairs, said, “As part of the National Media Council’s role in developing the media sector in the UAE – particularly in terms of monitoring media content – we have signed several agreements to facilitate operations at bookshops and publishing houses and enable the auto-monitoring of content. These agreements allow us to ensure best practices in content, enhance productivity and efficiency, and empower the private sector to take part in the regulation process.”
As per the agreements, the council will provide a bundle of services related to the programme, most notably, holding periodic training workshops and awareness sessions about media content and age classification systems, to allow the bookshops to periodically review books and keep them aware of any new terms, conditions, standards and regulatory requirements.
For their end of the deal, bookshops and publishing houses pledge to obtain all necessary licenses and permits for their work from the National Media Council; participate in the training workshops on media content standards, age-classification criteria, and the methodology to review books covered by the programme.
Furthermore, the five entities commit to submitting reports to the NMC on the books they’ve reviewed, as well as another report on books that are difficult or that call for a decision from the NMC itself. They also pledge to abide by media content and age classification standards, as well as all regulations issued by the National Media Council.
The first phase of the programme will cover 17 categories of books, including children’s books (drawing, colouring, sudoku, games, arts and crafts, and comics); academic books (science, computer, mathematics); cookbooks; decoration books; dictionaries; fashion books; motherhood and childhood books; architecture books; interior design books; gardening books; and engineering books.