Covering nine countries – Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia and Israel – the research study examines the progress of media development in the region and focuses on projects implemented in the wake of the Arab Spring.
It assesses the impact of international support through case studies in various areas such as journalism training, legal and regulatory reforms, co-production, technical and infrastructural upgrades. It also highlights the challenges faced by international agencies and examples of effective, innovative interventions which could help to shape best practice in this field.
Positive results and trends were noted in several countries, particularly those where popular uprisings have led to reforms and stimulated dialogue around media freedom. Despite the unique challenges thrown up by social and political upheaval, countries like Tunisia, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon have made significant progress in this area.
“International assistance towards media development in this region is crucial,” said Catherine Joppart, media expert and co-author of the report. “This report will hopefully have a ‘stop and think’ effect and allow project managers, donors and media professionals to reflect on what they do and how it could be improved.”
The report, however, highlights four core challenges affecting most countries in the region which can be summarised as follows:
• The lack of coordination by international donors and implementing agencies operating in the surveyed countries (Tunisia and Palestine being exceptions in this regard);
• The lack of efficient systems for capturing and acting on the findings of evaluation and monitoring reports;
• The lack of follow-up, particularly for capacity building initiatives;
• The lack of buy-in of key national stakeholders at government and institutional level.
IREX Europe is part of a consortium led by the BBC Media Action and including the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Blanquerna School of Communications and the Jordan Media Institute, implementing the EU funded Med Media project. One of IREX Europe’s missions in this project was to identify an expert for the drafting of the report on the Media Development Sector in the Southern Mediterranean. Click on the link below to read the assessment report.
This article was originally published on the Med Media website and can be found here.
MedMedia is an EU-funded project aimed at supporting the institutions and individuals committed to reforming the media sector in the Southern Mediterranean Region.