The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has stated that there is still a high mountain to climb in the battle for an open and balanced public service media in the Southern Mediterranean region.
The IFJ declared its stance during a key session of debate it organised at today’s UNESCO World Press Freedom event in Paris. Titled ‘Transition to Public Service Media in the Southern Mediterranean,’ theIFJ session discussed the challenges currently being faced by public service media in the South Mediterranean region.
Moderated by IFJ President Jim Boumelha,the session discussed current trends including the lack of editorial independence, the rise of social media as an alternative source of news and opinion, and the relation of global and regional media to local media.
The session also highlighted the Med Media, a new EU-funded project launched to support media reform in the Southern countries, with a focus on broadcasting.
“New challenges have arisen in Southern Mediterranean countries in recent years, in a context of deep political change,” said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. “Publicservice media can only contribute to fostering democracy, diversity and progress in society, if it operates in an open and independent environment.”
Speaking at the event, Younes Mjahed, IFJ Vice President and President of the Moroccan Union of Journalists, said: “The battle for an open and balanced public service space in Morocco and some other parts of the region started long before the Arab Spring and journalists’ unions have played a crucial part in mobilising the media community and civil society groups to lobby political authorities to obtain reform.
“We are absolutely dedicated to our cause in Morocco and across the Southern Mediterranean region and we will continue to fight to have a public sector media that is transparent, open and can work freely for society and for the citizens of our country.”
Speakers at the event were:
· Younes MJAHED, President, Syndicat National de la Presse Marocaine
· Michael RANDALL, MedMedia Team Leader
· Paola PARRI, COPEAM Coordinator on European Projects
· Giacomo MAZZONE, Head of Institutional Relations / South, EBU
· Toby MENDEL, Director Centre for Law and Democracy
· Bernd RÖßLE, Regional Coordinator Northern Africa, DW Akademie
· Chistina Dahlman, European Commission / EuropeAid
For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 17
The IFJ represents more than 600 000 journalists in 134 countries