Press release 13/12/2017

The EU-funded MedMedia programme published today a key report on journalists’ unions in the Southern Mediterranean region.

The report, which covers nine countries, examines journalists’ unions’ role in supporting journalists and media. It focuses on pivotal issues, including mandate, membership and governance, trade-union action, advocacy, and opportunities for international cooperation.

“Journalists’ unions in the region have different historical backgrounds, structures and working traditions”, said Monir Zaarour, co-author of the report. “But they all lead important battles in defense of media freedom and journalists’ social and professional rights. They are positioned to play a unique role not only in journalism but in the wider struggle for human rights in countries across the region”.

The report shows how journalists’ unions have evolved and grown partnerships in recent years to build professional training programmes, defend journalism and respond to legal, regulatory and ethical challenges posed by a rapidly evolving sector.

“By highlighting unions’ mandates and specific constraints, this report opens real opportunities for stronger cooperation and coordination on media reform in the region”, added Néji Bghouri co-author of the report.

The report aspires to be a light and meaningful reading, not only for union activists and media professionals, but also for journalists and citizens by exploring issues of public interest in relation to media in the region.

Its solution-driven approach offers regional and international actors key recommendations on media development in the region and how to strengthen the profession, its independence and empower it to uphold media freedom and social justice in the Southern Mediterranean.

To read the Report on Journalists’ unions in the Southern Mediterranean, click here.

This report was funded by the EU* and co-authored by Monir Zaarour, Arab World & Middle East Director of Policy and Programmes at the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), and Néji Bghouri, President of the Tunisian journalists’ union (SNJT) and editor at Essahafa newspaper.

*The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of MedMedia and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

Photo: Julian Tysoe

MedMedia is an EU-funded programme which aims to facilitate the progress of media reforms in the MENA region by offering policy-makers, regulators, broadcasters and union leaders access to relevant experience and know-how from both sides of the Mediterranean.

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