Middle East and North Africa

 

In the early days of 2011 the frustrations of citizens in first Tunisia and later Egypt turned into popular revolutionary movements that unexpectedly succeeded in ousting the presidents in both countries. This led to turmoil and uprisings in a number of the Arab countries producing very different outcomes.

Almost seven years down the line no country in the region has been left untouched by these historic events, and the political situation continues to be volatile throughout the region. Authoritarianism is reinforced in a number of Arab countries and some Arab states have all but collapsed under the pressure of civil war. Others are facing a slow transition process.

Despite setbacks, the situation of media has changed even though the media are facing significant challenges. First of all a plethora of new media outlets has been established. Across the region, an important segment of media led by young and professional journalists strive to conduct their work in a professional and independent manner.

IMS has worked with partners in the Arab region since 2004. Our knowledge of the region and continued participation in established networks enables us to operate on both a national as well as regional level, furthering journalistic cooperation and development of strong media institutions that promote media freedom. Our experience shows that regional collaboration boosts otherwise small national initiatives aimed at furthering media freedom, quality journalism and enables a flow of know-how and knowledge between media communities in the region.

Amongst our cross-border programmes is the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism Network (ARIJ), our support to documentary film-making, as well as our Twinning programme, which connects peers in the media world across countries and regions. These partnerships and networks ensure that a sustained exchange of knowledge and skills takes place in the region.

IMS also supports national Arab non-governmental organisations working for media reform. Especially in the countries undergoing political transition we engage with civil society actors working to create alternatives to the existing laws ruling the media. The need for increased journalistic professionalism is evident in most Arab countries and IMS is engaged in setting up mid-career training institutions, supporting capacity building of unions, conducting training activities as well as supporting a number of independent media (radio, online, print) throughout the region.

IMS’ Media Cooperation Programme in the Middle East is supported by amongst others, the Danish Arab Partnership Programme and Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

Contact person for Middle East & North Africa

  • Jensen Michael Irving Jensen
    Head of Department, Middle East and North Africa
    +45 8832 7000
    mij@mediasupport.org

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