Arab Declaration for Media Freedom adopted at MedMedia conference
May 17, 2016
Journalists’ unions, human rights campaigners and media groups from across the Arab World have backed a ground-breaking Declaration on Media Freedom. The Declaration, which represents a commitment to the principles of media freedom, independent journalism and the right to information, was endorsed at a meeting supported by the EU-funded MedMedia programme and hosted by the International Federation of Journalists and the Moroccan journalists’ union (SNPM) in Casablanca from 2 to 4 May.
Delegates also endorsed plans to establish a Special Mechanism for Media Freedom in the Arab region in order to uphold the principles enshrined in the Declaration, which set out 16 key principles aimed at promoting the highest international standards of media freedom and protecting journalists’ rights. Areas covered by the Declaration included:
·Freedom of expression
·Freedom of information
·Media law reform
·Hate speech and intolerance
·Independence of public service broadcasters
The EU-funded MedMedia project aims to create an enabling environment for media reforms in the Southern Mediterranean region. It is part of the €17 million EU programme “Media and culture for development in the Southern Mediterranean” which aims at supporting the media and culture reform processes in the region.
MedMedia focuses on media legislation, regulation, programming, strategy and leadership with a view to helping state media fulfil their public service mandate and compete with the commercial sector. It will also work to build public trust by strengthening the media’s role as an independent watchdog and a forum for democratic debate. (EU Neighbourhood Info)