As part of an international network Medien | Kompetenz | International took part in the project "Media Accountability in the MENA-Region". The results have been published in a pilot study recently.
In many Middle East and North African (MENA) countries, media struggle from strict state control. Reporting independently is hardly possible for journalists. The Covid-19 pandemic has even worsened the situation recently. Yet, there always have been more or less tiny spaces of freedom, which journalists and the individuals via Social Media may use to criticize the state controlled media and hold them accountable for how they work.
The project "Media Accountability in the MENA-region", which was led by the Erich-Brost-Institute in Dortmund (Germany), examined these spaces. A team of international researchers interviewed more than 100 media experts and journalists to map practices and instruments of self-regulation and media accountability in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Syria. How do media councils work? What do journalists' associations do for safeguarding journalists from violence and regime interference? How does the public use social media to criticize TV shows, news websites' articles or other media products?
The results of this project have been compiled in a pilot study published in English and Arabic. They were presented to and discussed with journalists, publishers, journalism educators and media NGOs from the MENA region in a three-day conference on February 23-25, 2021.
Dr. Judith Pies from Medien | Kompetenz | International and Dr. Philip Madanat from the Jordanian Madanat Consultancy wrote the chapters on Jordan and Syria. The researchers had already published on the state of media accountability in Jordan and Syria ten years ago. While in Jordan the situation has not changed too much, the Syrian war is in its tenth year. Here, the state of media is overall fragile and attempts of holding the media to account vary a lot according to the part of Syria they operate in.