A high-level committee consisting of journalists, academics and experts issued on February 22, 2017 a document detailing the recommendations to be taken as a result of the “National Initiative for Media Development” Conference held in both Ramallah and Gaza. The conference was organized by Birzeit University’s Media Development Center, under the patronage of the Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, and in cooperation of Palestine Journalist Syndicate.
The panelists stressed on the urgent need to implement the outcomes of the conference that focused on media legal reform, academic development, gender equality, media logistics and infrastructure, media training, job safety, self-regulation, role of media in the society and the public media.
They recommended issuing rules and regulations that guarantee the Right of Access to Information and Publication and secure the journalists’ freedom. Academically, the participants emphasized on the importance of developing courses specialized in gender education, and related to the recent developments in technology and new media.
Training and workshops were across the issues that should be organized regularly to enhance the professional skills among journalists and media experts, in adherence to the local and global market’s needs.
The Minister of Culture Ihab Bseiso, speaking on behalf of the Prime Minister, stated that the freedom of press reflects our state’s commitment towards this noble value. He alluded that this National Initiative as an essential move towards more developments in the media sector through the researches, the workshops and draft laws it has issued.
Bseiso added that Palestinians voice must be heard everywhere and despite the obstacles that we face. Press, according to Bseiso, offers a platform for a multiplicity of voices to be heard, which can be empowered through a fruitful collaboration of experts, academics and prominent journalists.
Birzeit University President Abdellatif Abuhijleh expressed his pride in this vibrant joint-work that is accomplished through the collaboration of 80 legal and media partners in the West Bank and Gaza, which sought to achieve a free, professional and objective media.
Abuhijleh called upon all related institutions and entities to implement the outcomes of this initiative that were reflected in the conference.
The Director of the Media Development Center Nibal Thawbtah said that the work on this initiative started three years ago. “Despite the political fractions, we were able to succeed in both the West Bank and Gaza. We are now celebrating our three-years of dedication.”
Thawabted assured that the Center will continue its efforts to implement the outcomes of this conference.
The conference was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).