Experts from 13 countries in the Middle East and North Africa agreed on the priorities that could provide the basis for greater collective action to defend independent media in the region. This report provides a summary of those deliberations. Prominent journalists and publishers, digital news entrepreneurs, civil society leaders, and scholars described a crisis in the media sector with complex driving forces at the global, regional, and national levels. To confront this crisis, they concluded, would require stronger bonds among all the defenders of free expression and independent media across the region.
Taking into account the complexity of the crisis and the diversity of experiences, the group identified four paramount challenges that could provide the basis for greater cross-border collaboration in support of independent media in the region.
● Fighting media capture through transparency, public pressure, and public education
● Promoting economic sustainability for independent media under threat
● Establishing self-regulation: capacity building and ethical norms
● Building stronger solidarity against repression and for reform
(Authors: Fatima el-Issawi and Nicholas Benequista)