Doha Centre for Media Freedom and Qatar University launch media assessment using UNESCO’s MDIs
The Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF) has partnered with a team of researchers from Qatar University to carry out a comprehensive evaluation of the media landscape of Qatar based on UNESCO’s internationally-recognized Media Development Indicators (MDIs). An initial training workshop on the MDI methodology was organized in Doha on 9 and 10 November, in collaboration with UNESCO.
Seven researchers from the Department of Mass Communication of Qatar University took part in the training alongside staff from the Research Department of DCMF. DCMF Director, Jan Keulen, opened the meeting, describing the MDI assessment as “one of the most important projects” of the Centre and emphasizing the need to ensure a wide support base for the initiative within the Qatari media community. The training was led by Steve Buckley, a media expert with international experience in media reform advocacy and communication development.
The workshop provided the research team with an overview of the MDI framework and the methodological approach embedded in it. It also spelled out the international standards and best practices that exist to promote free, independent and pluralistic media. By the end of the two-day training, the participants had identified an extensive range of research tools and data sources for applying the MDIs in Qatar. They also came up with a research plan and timetable for the evaluation of the national media sector, which is expected to start in December and last for a period of 6 to 9 months.
Mahmoud M Galander, Acting Chair of Qatar University’s Department of Mass Communication welcomed the project, saying it was important to monitor and evaluate the state of Qatar’s media.
An advisory committee composed of Qatar-based media professionals, experts, civil society members and officials will be invited to provide input to the assessment throughout its duration.
When it is completed, the study will reveal the extent to which Qatar’s media environment ensures freedom of expression, plurality and diversity, and propose evidence-based recommendations pertaining to further aspects of media development in the country.
DCMF is a non-profit organization working for press freedom and quality journalism in Qatar, the Middle East and the world. Its activities are focused on direct assistance to journalists, training and education, and research, reflection and memory.