The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Birzeit University Media Development Center (MDC) held the National Congress for the presentation and discussion of the preliminary findings of the assessment of media development in Palestine using UNESCO”s media development indicators.
During the conference, a video conference was held between Ramallah and Gaza to discuss the preliminary findings of the UNESCO project ‘Assessment of media development in Palestine using UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators.
The UNESCO representative in the Palestinian territories Derek Elias valued cooperation with the MDC, noting that this study is the third of its kind in the Arab world, after Tunisia and Egypt.
In his speech, Mr. Elias said: "The interest in media development is a key element for the empowerment of democracy in the Palestinian territories, especially when focusing on freedom of opinion and expression."
The Vice President for Community Outreach Samia Halileh said that "We are confident that the private and official media have the willingness and desire to benefit and make optimal use of the conference findings."
The MDC director Ms. Nibal Thawabteh stated that the conference aims to present and discuss the findings of the researchers in their study on the Palestinian media with the attendees. She added:"This study will form a roadmap for Palestinian media, and will help in planning a Palestinian media strategy.”
The study called for capacity building, professional support for institutions, in order to promote freedom of expression, pluralism and diversity, through the modernization of the curricula and specialized training.
At the conclusion of the conference, the audience recommended the need to support media research and focus on new or alternative media, in addition to working on the development of media curricula in higher education institutions.
The study on the media development indicators will be published and distributed in October, during a national conference that will be held for this purpose.
The participants included media experts and journalists, as well as representatives of the government, civil society, Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate, and locally based international development agencies.