Med Media Project: Towards media sector reform in the Southern Mediterranean region
IREX Europe is part of a consortium led by BBC Media Action that is implementing the EU funded Med Media Project: Towards media sector reform in the Southern Mediterranean region. Other consortium members include the International Federation of Journalists, the Blanquerna Communications School, the Federation of Arab Journalists and the Jordan Media Institute.
The Programme, which runs from January 2014 to January 2018, will aim to reinforce the role of the media in the target countries to act as vectors for democratization and contribute to the development of a more public service oriented media landscape in the Southern Mediterranean. The project also aims to contribute to the creation and development of a public sphere in the region.
The Programme will be implemented in 9 countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) of the Southern Mediterranean (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia). The ENP was developed in 2004 by the European Union with the objective of “avoiding the emergence of new dividing lines between the enlarged EU and its neighbours to the South and the East, and of strengthening the prosperity, stability and security of all concerned”. Key stakeholder groups include regulatory and statutory bodies, journalism unions and support organisations, public service and community media and policy makers.
Despite new freedom promised by the Arab Spring, media across the ENP South region still struggle to act as drivers for positive social change. Challenges include continued political interference and lack of editorial independence, the rise of social media as an alternative source of news and opinion, and the dominance of pan-Arab broadcasters in local media markets. The project will aim to promote a public service orientated media section is in the region through peer-to-peer mentoring, assisting state broadcasters to make qualitative improvements to their outputs, improving engagement with their audiences, and use of social media.
Review of existing legislation in target countries relating to media and existing regulatory mechanisms
Media mapping of media development projects in the region
Organisation of a series of round-tables (topics include media regulation in transitional democracies, transparency of media ownership, the advertising market, international benchmarking for media development, media literacy, parliamentary hearings on state financing of the media, conferences on minority-language media, gender mainstreaming and protection of women’s rights)
Coaching activities for grantees as well as peer-to-peer mentoring activities between European and regional stakeholders
Set-up of a knowledge management portal for research materials.
Regional networking activities and conferences to provide opportunities for experience sharing and dialogue.