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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Resolving to protect new media coverage

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Yesterday I was at the Doha Centre for Media Freedom’s forum on Media and Arab Revolutions.

Guest speakers from Tunisia, Egypt, and the editor-in-chief of Al Jazeera Arabic weighed in on pressures news organizations face, the role social media has played in the revolutions and uprisings, and the issue of journalists safety while reporting.

In the end, a set of resolutions were adopted, primarily recommendations directed at Arab governments.

Participants called for:

  • The need for journalists to preserve credibility and objectivity in covering Arab revolutions
  • Emphasis on New Media’s positive role in enabling individuals and groups to express their demands and disseminate information in spite of censorship
  • The need to set up a legal frame work to protect New Media and enable it to become a reliable source of information
  • Calling on Arab regimes to stop pursuing, targeting and harassing journalists and New Media users and to comply with international conventions which guarantee journalists’ right to access sites where events take place
  • Calling on Arab regimes to stop holding media outlets responsible for the events and developments which take place in their countries
  • Urging managers of media institutions to take all precautionary measures to guarantee the safety of journalists working in hotspots in line with relevant international standards
  • Calling upon all Arab governments to put an end to their censorship policies, shutting down social networks and jamming satellite channels’ signals as well as the arrest of bloggers, correspondents, cameramen and writers
  • Calling for the release of all journalists, correspondents and bloggers who are arrested by some Arab governments on charges of covering events in their countries
  • Appealing to traditional Media outlets to cooperate with New Media as a complementary, not competitive, form of media in order to ensure more credibility in news reporting and filming
  • Urging global communication corporations and leading electronic websites not to succumb to governments’ pressure and cut communication services at times of crisis

What are your thoughts – agree or disagree on any of these points?

Credit: Photo by Suroor PV/DCMF

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