Celebrating World Press Freedom Day in Morocco Print

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Event date: 3 May 2012

Country: Morocco

‘Media between freedom and responsibility’ was the subject of a round table debate organized by the Media Diversity Institute in Rabat, Morocco, in collaboration with the Moroccan Centre for Research & Studies in the field of Human Rights and the Media, on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day 2012. 

At the opening of the discussion attended by many including, media professionals, civil society representatives, university graduates and students, Mr. Ali Karimi, Head of the Moroccan Centre for Research and Studies in the field of Human Rights & the Media evoked the political context which framed, since the Independence of Morocco, media practice and at the heart of it, the relationship between freedom and ethics and the way that political requirements have always prevented the press from approaching the red lines.

Abdul Wahab el Ramy, professor of written journalism, stated that he believed that ethics are duties and rights at the same time; the journalist must practice his work professionally and resort to the clause of conscience when necessary, while the editor-in chief remains at the end, the one who should defend ethics and independence from media owners.

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John Paul Martoz narrated his experience as editor in chief of the Belgian newspaper “Le Soir” and the variation of conditions and traditions in accordance with different platforms and mindsets of their respective owners, and how it is the awareness of journalists and total belief in professional and ethical values that shall always remain the last resort to defend a profession, which democracy shall never succeed without.

Maria Makrim, director of the news site “February com.”, presented her experience as a journalist specializing in investigation and the pressure she has faced on several occasions and confirmed that the courage and professionalism of journalists leads them necessarily to respect the professional ethics.

Among the topics discussed included the subject of public media and the defining of ethical codes of conduct, and the controversy it raised between the government and managers of public channels and the resultant political and professional implications.

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The subject of electronic journalism was also raised and the extent of respect for ethics within it, and how the abuses that happen in that space, which resists any control except from the awareness of the journalist and his ethical obligations, can be addressed.

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The event was organized with the financial support of the European Commission, the Hans Seidel Foundation, UNESCO Rabat and the UK Embassy in Rabat. The round table is one of eight similar events which will be organised within the framework of the project “Media Evolution: towards an inclusive, responsible and independent media in Morocco”. The project shall also organize several other events, all dealing with the subject of media in Morocco. It aims at encouraging public dialogue around the future of the Moroccan media, ensuring comprehensive coverage of social diversity in the media, establishing a culture of freedom of expression, access to information and ensuring more responsibility by the media through self-regulation.

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