Community Media and the Arab Spring Conference to be held in Tunis March 2012

January 17, 2012. The Middle East and North Africa Community Media Working Group, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC) the Community Media Network (CMN) in partnership with International Media Support (IMS), Oxfam Novib and EED SIDA, among others, organize the first international conference on Community Media and the Arab Spring, to be held in Hotel Majestic, Tunis, March 9-10, 2012. For registration and further information please visit here or contact AMARC at secretariat@si.amarc.org

The event will gather more than a hundred freedom of expression and communication rights activists as well as practitioners and stakeholders of the community media movement. The international conference on Community Media and the Arab Spring will facilitate reflection on what has been achieved so far, clarify challenges and define strategies for the right to communicate in the region.

In announcing the event Conference Maria Pia Matta, president of AMARC said that “holding the first conference on community media in the Middle East and North Africa in Tunisia is a symbol of the recognition of the social and political movement that started the Arab Spring and opened the way to media and political pluralism. In this perspective, implementation of international human rights standards, essential to democratic societies, is a fundamental challenge for all social actors of the region.”

The first regional conference on Community Media and the Arab Spring will allow for exchanges of experience and definition of strategies for media pluralism and independence; for democratic, equitable and sustainable development; and for the promotion of cultural and linguistic diversity in the Mediterranean region.

AMARC has been active for several years in the MENA region, sharing the community radio experience as an essential component of democratic development. AMARC was a founder, in 2004, of the IFEX Tunisia Monitoring Group. In November 2006, the community radio movement and stakeholders gathered for the AMARC 9 world conference in Amman, Jordan, hosted by Ammannet, the pioneering community radio of the Middle East. In 2007, at the AMARC Africa and MENA Conference, in Rabat, advocacy strategies were reinforced. In 2011, the Arab Spring has brought the emergence of new community radios in Tunisia and paved the way for concrete possibilities elsewhere. In collaboration with IMS, CMN and other freedom of expression partners and AMARC has shared knowledge and supported the emergence of pluralistic and independent media. For more information on AMARC and Community media partners visit http://www.amarc.org

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