21.12.2004 -

UNESCO/IPDC Fosters Pluralist Media Development in Arab Region

Shaikah Ahmad Al-Mahmood, Qatar's Minister of Education, urged the Arab media "to undertake their responsibilities towards addressing issues like democratic changes, freedom of expression and human rights in the Arab world". She was addressing a seminar held on earlier this month in Doha, as part of a three-day meeting organized by UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) on 'Media Development in the Arab World'.

Waddah Khanfar, Managing Director of al Jazeera channel also addressed the public, emphasizing a need for "a legal framework to protect the rights of journalists". He advocated 'investigative journalism' in the Arab world in order to "go beyond the news". Senior officials from Al Jazeera were among the Arab experts who took part in the three-day meeting.

UNESCO had brought together Arab media experts and Professionals from 6 to 8 December 2004, and discussed media challenges facing the region. The meeting had examined 24 project proposals submitted by Arab countries to IPDC.

The meeting achieved its purpose of initiating dialogue on media development in the Arab region and was positively received by the local media in Qatar as articles regularly appeared in dailies.

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