Regional Workshop: “Media Accountability & Media Sustainability in the MENA region”

On September 24-25, 2021 the Erich Brost Institute for International Journalism (Germany) in cooperation with the Samir Kassir Foundation (Lebanon), conducted a two-day workshop entitled “Media Accountability and Media Sustainability in the MENA Region”.

The workshop provided an open space for discussions among media publishers and editors-in-chief from Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan and Syria in addition to contributions from European media development professionals.

The workshop explained what media accountability is by stressing on ways in which the media sectors of the region, with its vibrant civil society, are able to self-regulate without state interference on questions of media ethics. The workshop was moderated by Isabella Kurkowski, Regional Coordinator of the program “Media Accountability in the MENA Region” at the Erich Brost Institute for International Journalism and by Dr. Khaled Gulam, Dean of Art and Information College at the University of Tripoli.

During the workshop, academics from the MENA region contributed with in-depth research to the media practitioners’ discussion on the links between media accountability and media sustainability. The workshop further demonstrated various challenges as well as common struggles and needs across different countries in the MENA region and provided important recommendations for the future, such as. 

  1. Agree on a common standard for the ethics and principles pertaining to media practice within institutions,
  2. Create an accreditation platform/mechanism, such as adopting the standards set by the Erich Brost Institute’s Global Handbook of Media Accountability framework, as well as international Fact-Checking Networks, such as RSF’s Journalism Trust Initiative,
  3. Establish a coalition in the pursuit of creating an enabling environment for media accountability: financial sustainability, legal framework, advertiser engagement, and awareness campaigns with youth,
  4. Contemplate cooperation for the development of creative content, which attracts various audiences across the region,
  5. Adopt a flexible and pragmatic media strategy for the MENA region related to media accountability and media sustainability.

More information about the workshop can be found in the Press Statement issued by the Erich Brost Institute for International Journalism and the Samir Kassir Foundation (click here for the English or the Arabic version).

Recordings of the different workshop sessions can be found here:

  • Plenary Discussion:
    What can media outlets in the MENA region achieve by applying Media Accountability Instruments and how to create the framework for it? What are the challenges in the MENA context?
    (click here to watch)
    Roula Mikhael (Maharat Foundation, Lebanon),
    Daoud Kuttab (Community Media Network, Palestine),
    Prof. Abeer Al-Najjar (University Sharjah),
    Dr. Fatima el-Issawi (University of Essex)

  • Panel: What newsrooms can do for Media Accountability? (click here to watch)
    1. “Ombudswoman experiences from Radio Jawhara ”
      by Narjess Mkhinini, Ombudswoman Radio Jawhara (Tunisia)
    2. –A digital media platform for the MENA region in its interaction related to users complaints
      by Hazem Al-Amin, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief (Lebanon, via Zoom connected)
    3. “Social media users and media accountability: The Case of Morocco”
      by Dr. Abdelmalek El Kadoussi (Morocco)

  • Plenary discussion: Media Sustainability in the MENA region (click here to watch)
    Challenges, Needs and Existing Funding Initiatives in the MENA Region for Media Sustainability and Media Accountability
    Ayman Mhanna, Executive Director Samir Kassir Foundation
    Mira Milosevic, Executive Director Global Forum for Media Development

  • Panel: Innovative approaches from the MENA region in financial sustainability
    (click here to watch)
    1. How to support media in the MENA region to be financially viable?
      by Mike de Villiers, Director Equal Rights and Independent Media - ERIM
    2. Non-profit journalism: Challenges and opportunities for media viability
      by Lina Ejeilat, co-founder and editor in chief, 7iber (Jordan)
    3. 2021 Social Media evolvement in the MENA region – Facts & Figures for media
      Why is user interaction and credibility on social media more and more important?

      by Hadil Abuhmaid and Damian Radcliffe (pre-recorded presentation)

  • "The impact of media ownership and media capture on media accountability"
    by Olaf Steenfadt, Media development and policy consultant (will soon be available to watch)