Press release 22.09.207

Media pluralism, monitoring of Lebanon’s 2018 general election and the country’s 2020 broadcasting digital transition, were at the heart of a conference held in Beirut last week.

Organised on 18 September by the Conseil national de l’audiovisuel (CNA), Lebanon’s broadcasting regulator, with the support of the EU-funded MedMedia programme, the conference gathered over 80 participants from the Parliament, media outlets, universities, civil society and media development organisations.

In his opening remarks, Hassan Fadlalla, Chairman of the Parliamentary Commission on Information and Communication, stressed the importance to set a clear regulatory framework for election media coverage, to foster pluralistic and constructive political debates in the media.

For her part, Julia Koch de Biolley, Deputy Head of Mission at the EU Delegation in Lebanon, reaffirmed the EU’s long-term commitment to supporting pluralism in Lebanon, hoping the CNA draft law –, which would turn the consultative body into a strong and independent regulator –, would soon be approved.

The event included senior representatives of the Italian media regulator, la Autorità per le garanzie nelle comunicazioni (AGCOM), a CNA partner through the MedMedia programme.

Highlighting the benefits of this cooperation, CNA President Abdul Hadi Mahfouz declared: “this exchange of experience is very valuable because many challenges Lebanon faces in its digital transition are similar to those Italy faced in its own. We also face issues regulating political mouthpieces, similar to those AGCOM encountered under past governments”.

The conference concluded with the signature of a Memorandum of Understanding between the CNA and AGCOM, which paves the way for closer cooperation and exchange of experience between the two institutions.

Photo : CNA