Peer-to-Peer exchanges bring real exchanges of knowledge and expertise between Europe and the Southern Mediterranean region – helping solve local problems and forging links for the future.
“Our needs, in facing the challenge of digital transition, are immense. Peer-to-peer exchanges with other broadcasters helped us assess them better and adopt the best strategies to overcome the resistance of journalists and technicians who might be discouraged by the speed at which new technologies evolve”. Programmes Director at Radio Liban, Rita Nouajaim.
“When engaging in this peer-to-peer [gender equality] initiative, we were keen on rapid and tangible progress. The results are extremely positive”. Director at Algeria’s public radio ENRS Lalia Behidj.
“These exchanges helped me understand the entire ecosystem of a journalism school whose teaching is firmly focused on professional practice, and the synergies between the different training activities”. Professor at the Institute of Press and Information Sciences (IPSI) in Tunis, Abdelkrim Hizaoui.
Between 2014 and 2018, IREX Europe implemented an innovative peer-to-peer exchange programme in the Southern Mediterranean.
Part of a €17 million EU-funded programme entitled “Media and Culture for Development in the Southern Mediterranean”, MedMedia has given media policy makers, regulators, public service broadcasters, journalists’ unions, media schools and human rights campaigners a unique opportunity to act as catalysts for media sector reform in their region.
The programme supported local stakeholders’ efforts to push forward media reform processes, sparked by the Arab Spring with a view to creating a regulatory environment supportive of media freedom and public trust in mainstream media outlets. It has offered access to expertise and know-how from both sides of the Mediterranean and has facilitated a mutual learning process between media institutions from the Southern Mediterranean.
MedMedia’s activities were divided into three complementary components:
- Capacity development for media professionals and institutions based on a bottom-up approach.
- Networking activities involving decision makers and media practitioners.
- An overview of the media sector for decision-makers and practitioners across the region.
IREX Europe’s peer-to-peer (P2P) activities represented about one third of the total amount of activities of the MedMedia Project, giving concrete solutions to perceived problems on an institutional level and a constant flow of sharing of experience and best practices over the project cycle. Twenty-seven (27) partner institutions including regulatory bodies and institutions tasked with drafting proposals for media regulation, as well as public service broadcasters and media schools, benefited from this programme.
As part of it, IREX Europe organised:
- Forty-five (45) ad-hoc mentoring for twenty-three (23) partner institutions which resulted in ninety-eight (98) consultancies and a sustained flow of remote exchanges;
- Fourteen (14) study visits and study tours for eleven (11) partner institutions which mobilised thirty-two (32) counterpart institutions from eleven (11) EU member states and three (3) Southern Mediterranean countries;
- Two (2) one-year regional exchange programmes which involved all the public service broadcasters from the region, as well as ASBU and COPEAM;
- Four (4) regional meetings of peers and three (3) national conferences for support to regulatory reforms.
Among the most notable P2P activity results are: the exchanges of best practices and expertise provided to support the drafting and/or reviewing of draft broadcasting regulations in Tunisia, Lebanon, Palestine and Egypt; the concrete improvements on all public broadcasters’ internal guidelines and policies in the fields of news and information pluralism, editorial standards, gender equality and digital transition; the development of tools bringing media schools curricula and teaching methodologies in line with the needs of the media industry – particularly with regard to digital technologies and media convergence.
Read more on MedMedia results:
“We knew nothing about media regulations. MedMedia teams have connected us to the rights people with the right knowledge at the right time. The P2P programme helped us to understand other approaches to regulation and compare their benefits and limitations. This will assist us in building a model which pays due regard to the Tunisian context and the specific contours of our media landscape.” President of Tunisia’s audio-visual regulatory body Haute autorité indépendante de la communication audiovisuelle (HAICA), Nouri Lajmi
“The peer-to-peer exchanges with European counterparts were key milestones in the context of the ongoing discussions which are being held within the Lebanese Parliament to reform the regulatory framework for the country’s broadcasting sector. President of Lebanon regulatory body Conseil National de l’Audiovisuel, Abdul Hadi Mahfouz.
“This fresh look on the law from an expert with international and regional expertise is highly valuable for the Centre and will help foster better media legislation in Palestine while avoiding the shortcomings which other countries in the region suffer from.” Projects Manager at Media Development Center, Bir Zeit University (consortium leader of the National Media Strategy for Palestine), Buthayna Alsemeiri.