Media Development Center Launches Media Study Based on UNESCO Indicators

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Birzeit University Media Development Center launched the findings of a joint study, "Assessment of media developments in Palestine," on June 18, 2014. The study was based on UNESCO’s internationally-endorsed media development indicators. This is the third such assessment to be completed in the Arab region and follows studies in Egypt and Tunisia.

The kick-off was held at Caesars Hotel in Ramallah and, simultaneously through remote communications, in Gaza. It brought together representatives of both public and private media organizations, the government, civil society, universities, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate and international partners.

Vice President for Academic Affairs Henry Giacaman said that preparing for this study took an entire year and its results show the need to work together to implement the recommendations, thus contributing to the completion of a national media strategy. The center is preparing the strategy in cooperation with 44 specialized institutions.

Lodovico Folin Calabi, officer in charge of the UNESCO office in Ramallah, explained that the study “provides a reliable resource for policy makers, the media, civil society organizations, universities and training institutions, in order to promote free, independent and pluralistic media in Palestine, with reference to key international standards.”

The public event outlined the main conclusions of the report and detailed how its recommendations will be implemented.

UNESCO Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development Guy Berger facilitated the panel on integrating the results of the assessment in Palestine’s National Media Strategy, and encouraged continued dialogue among all relevant actors in order to identify areas of shared interest and ensure implementation.

"The study will feed into the National Media Strategy,” Director of the Media Development Center Nibal Thawabteh said, “and an action plan with working committees will be set up on June 26 and meet regularly afterwards to produce outcomes by the end of 2014."

The assessment of Palestine’s media landscape using UNESCO’s indicators was financed by Canal France International, the Government of Finland, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency and UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication.