07.05.2014 - UNESCO Office in Beirut

In Beirut, free media contributes to development on World Press Freedom day

On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, UNESCO Regional Office and Maharat Foundation organized a conference entitled "Free Media Contributes to Development" at the Hilton Hotel in Sin el-Fil-Lebanon on Monday May 5th 2014 in the presence of Minister of Information, Deans and students of Media faculties, media professionals as well as representatives from UNESCO, Maharat foundation, IREX, PACE and media NGOs.

The conference aimed at addressing the challenges that freedom of expression is facing in Lebanon, and stressed the importance of the role played by universities in the preparation of a new generation of young journalists. In addition, it highlighted the role of universities in supporting media freedom in Lebanon and the ability to approach the development dimension in media coverage. The conference was an opportunity for university students to see freedom reality and media coverage challenges, and to discuss the steps that will help Lebanon to regain its leadership role in the region.

 The conference highlighted two main themes:

  1. the role of universities in supporting a free media environment;
  2. The current challenges of media: Safety, professionalism and development

 Following the interventions of Media university deans as well as media practitioners, a set of recommendations were defined by students:


  • The need for a more independent institutions and laws to guarantee more freedom of expression;
  • The need to unify the branches of the Lebanese University in order to accept the opinions of others;
  • The need for the adoption of new media laws in the age of digital media;
  • The need to accept the opinions of others in the light of the existing division in the country;
  • The need for exchanges between universities and the need for Lebanese reform status of trade unions to provide effective protection for journalists;
  •  The need for the promotion of a responsible freedom.

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