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.
Five 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 several of these, 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 the Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.
Contact person for Middle East & North Africa
On Thursday, 15 December, International Media Support celebrated its 15-year anniversary with a public discussion amongst experts and practitioners on the future of media development. The organisation established that the world more than...
The problem of online harassment is well-known, but how do we respond in realistic, constructive ways to mitigate, prevent and protect?...
Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) celebrates its first 10 years. Executive director Rana Sabbath reflects on challenges...