Media Development Center Announces 2014 Research Grant

On March 12, 2014, the Birzeit University Media Development Center kicked off its Media Research Grant program for the second year in a row.

The program was inaugurated in a panel discussion held by the center, featuring media research that was conducted in 2013 and attended by students and professors.

This year, research will focus on the development of Palestinian media laws and studying their compatibility with the national media strategy, the ethics of journalism in political conflicts, and Palestine and the media shift to digital broadcasting.

Center director Nibal Thawabteh discussed the significance of this seminar, which is the first of its kind in Palestine focusing on refereed media research that scientifically diagnoses various media issues.

"The preparation of this research is of vital importance because, as academics and media professionals, we need to conduct our research according to our needs. Through our findings, we can diagnose the problems,” Thawabteh said. “At a later stage, the Media Development Center will work on implementing the findings and recommendations, to be presented to officials."

The research supervisors also spoke about the importance of this groundbreaking experience, and called for a diversification in research topics. The supervisors are professors Majdi al-Maliki, Walid Shurafa, Mehdi Arar and Rita Giacaman.

The media research is conducted by the center’s Research and Policy Unit, which focuses on the preparation of studies aimed at developing Palestinian media, such as the study on "Media Development Indicators in Palestine," which was conducted in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

On September 8, 2012, the center held a seminar on media research methods, during which a specialized research group on Palestinian media was formed—the first of its kind in Palestine.

The seminar, led by Professor Melinda Robins, a visiting scholar from Emerson College in Boston, was intended to help Palestinian scholars produce publishable research papers on Palestinian media.