Press release 02/05/2018

To mark World Press Freedom Day, the EU-funded MedMedia programme today launched its final regional report.

Covering seven countries* across the Southern Mediterranean, the report looks at media practices and regulations’ effectiveness in tackling hate in the media.

“New freedoms have been won in parts of the region in recent years”, said Toby Mendel, co-author of the report. “But the many conflicts that remain in and around it, most of which contain an element of ethnic or religious divisions, continue to fuel hate in the media.”

The report and a series of discussions supported by MedMedia on this issue, highlighted several alarming trends including the unethical reporting of migration and extremism; the incitement to hate in live broadcasting and the growing virulence of politicians’ speech on television and social media.

“Journalists have too often become the victims or the perpetrators of targeted incitement as opposing ideologies battle over the future. There is urgent need for stronger accountability and stronger commitment in favour of ethical reporting and responsible speech”, said Nahla Momani, co-author of the report.

The publication also outlines international standards and key recommendations for better practice directions in this area. As such, it aims to provide useful inputs to media policy makers, journalists, and politicians as to what elements they should consider when regulating, reporting or speaking to the media.

The report is authored by a team of experts including Toby Mendel, Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Democracy, Nahla Momani, Human Rights and Freedom of Expression Expert in Jordan, Bassam Eweidah, Director of the Media faculty at Birzeit University in Palestine, and Sarah Bouchetob, Campaigner at the International Federation of Journalists and MedMedia Senior key expert.

*: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia.

To read the Report on Addressing Hate Speech and Racism in the Media in the Southern Mediterranean Region in English and Arabic, click here.

Photo: Dean Hall.