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Irak - Medie-NGO træner journalister
IRAQ: New NGO to improve Iraqi media discourse
IRINnews.org, 31. august 2005
Afaq Media Forum (AMF) er en ny medie-NGO, etableret i Bashra med det formål at træne og uddanne journalister samt forbedre og udvikle den lokale nyhedsdækning.
A group of six Iraqi journalists founded the Afaq Media Forum (AMF), which works under the premise that media plays a crucial role in scrutinising and strengthening democratic institutions. Afaq in Arabic means horizons.
"We found it very necessary to establish AMF in response to the fact that Iraqi journalists and media suffer from serious problems,” said Adil al-Thamiry, chairman of AMF’s executive board.
“Workers in this field have been under the influence of a totalitarian regime. The Iraqi journalists’ discourse is in need to be credible in order to be effective."
The AMF put forward a number of proposals to the government, including building a stronger independent press, increasing journalists’ participation in public policy and developing a sustainable network of informed journalists.
Promoting international action to defend press freedom, helping young journalists to improve skills and increasing women's participation in the media were other recommendations.
Al-Thamiry explained that the organisation has four departments, including media development, women in media, studies and research, as well as a news agency.
The AMF expects to achieve its ambitious list of goals through training programmes, and partnerships with different local and international media organisations.
According to Lena Abdul-Redha, public relations director of the AMF, the organisation has established an advisory board made up of qualified people to offer services for local newspapers.
"We have asked the international NGOs to support our work by providing resources to conduct workshops and opportunities for training courses for Iraqi journalists abroad. Recently, we received a positive reply and invitation to be involved in a course from the Danish Institute for Human Rights, which will also provide teaching materials," Abdul-Redha added.
The ousting of Saddam Hussein's regime in 2003 ended a reign of fear, local journalists said. When the regime collapsed a media boom was sparked by the new freedom in Iraq.
Adil Hamid, general secretary on AMF, noted that most journalists have now found themselves unable to cope with modern techniques, due to the academic isolation and years of sanctions. He added that journalists did not understand the notion of the free press playing a role as a guardian of newly born democracy in Iraq.
"We know that our goals are ambitious but we want to set the stage for others to work with us. We are working hard to sustain efforts to create a new Iraqi media," Hamid said.
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