The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) is preparing to welcome delegates from across the Arab region to the 6th edition of its Arab Free Press Forum, set to take place from 24 to 26 November 2013 in the Tunisian capital, Tunis.
WAN-IFRA's Arab Free Press Forum is a unique event that brings together media professionals and human rights advocates from across the Arab world to exchange ideas, experiences and best practice at every level of the news industry. With concerns rising over recent events in Egypt and challenges to Arab Spring reforms, the event comes at an opportune time.
As part of WAN-IFRA's ongoing commitment to supporting the independent press in the Arab region, the Forum will compliment longstanding engagements with partners from across the media industry and the freedom of expression community.
The 2013 Forum will ask penetrating questions about the future of Arab media from both editorial and business perspectives. Speakers will include prominent personalities from the regional and international media and freedom of expression communities, with a programme designed to explore the present situation and future needs of the independent Arab press.
Focus will be given to key themes including framing the news in times of transition and political upheaval, sustainability of the independent press, and how to promote the media's crucial role of supporting open societies.
"Recent events in Egypt have shown just how fragile and important the independent press is for ensuring open and enduring democracies," said Alison Meston, the WAN-IFRA Press Freedom Director.
"Equally, with ongoing struggles to have freedom of expression enshrined in the Tunisian constitution, attacks against journalists in Syria escalating, and independent Sudanese news organisations in desperate search of sustainable business models, the Arab Free Press Forum could not come at a more opportune time," Ms Meston added.
The 6th Arab Free Press Forum will be held in partnership with UNESCO, with support from International Media Support (IMS), Canal France International (CFI), Free Press Unlimited, the Ethical Journalism Network, Egypt Media Development Program, Google Egypt, "Yakadha" Association for Democracy and a Civil State (Vigilance), NAWAAT.org (Independent collective of Tunisian bloggers), the Tunisian Centre for Press Freedom and the African Centre for Taining of Journalists and Communicators (CAPJC) and Beirut's An-Nahar newspaper.