UNESCO and The Guardian promote media ethics and self-regulation in Egypt
On 7 and 8 March 2011 UNESCO's Cairo Office, in partnership with the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate, organized a training workshop on Self-regulation in the Egyptian Press and the Role of the Newspaper Ombudsman. The two-day workshop aimed at promoting the theory and the practice of self-regulation among Egyptian journalists.
Chris Elliott, a reader's editor at The Guardian, conducted the workshop, where he held in-depth discussions, especially focusing on the recent events in Egypt and other Arab countries.
The first session was dedicated to the importance of admitting mistakes and correcting them both in print and online media. During the second session, a wider discussion about the national regime of self-regulation in the United Kingdom took place. Participants had an opportunity to examine the work of a readers' editor in the context of a national self-regulation system.
Discussions became very animated at the afternoon session, which focused on social media. The revolution was plotted and played out through social media, according to Egyptian journalists. As ethical practices around social media are still at an early stage of development, participants were eager to discuss them.
Elliott also met with leading Egyptian media figures, journalists and editors of major newspapers. During these consultations he promoted an idea of introducing press ombudsman's institution in newsrooms. In his final report Chris Elliott concluded that there is currently a real opportunity to change the nature of journalism in Egypt, and the journalists and editors with whom he met were keen on grasping this opportunity.