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Supporting the Reform of the Tunisian National Television and Radio into Public Service Media

World Press Freedom Day 2013 in Tunis. © UNESCO

As part of the democratic transition that Tunisia has experienced since January 2011, freedom of expression has been recognized as a fundamental value in the country. In January 2014 Tunisia adopted a new constitution with protections for freedom of expression and freedom of information.

Yet challenges have remained in transforming state media into independent public service media. Tunisian national television and radio, which lacked independence under the Ben Ali regime, now must establish their own editorial and organizational policies.

In order to create a culture of self-regulation in which each journalist works ethically and professionally, it is essential to work in a participative manner with all radio and television journalists to establish an ethical code specific to each organization and for public service media.

Financed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation - AECID, this project has assisted the democratic transition in Tunisia through support to the reform of Tunisian national radio and television into public service media, through promoting independence, ethical practices and gender equality.

Overview of Activities

Tunisian national television (ETT)

  • An in-depth study of the Tunisian national television (ETT) was conducted, analyzing the television’s legal framework, mission, content, structure, management practices and operation. The study includes action-oriented recommendations for reforming the ETT into public service television, with reference to different models of public service media in the world. The study was presented to and validated by the management of the ETT.
  • UNESCO supported the finalization and adoption of a code of ethics by the Tunisian national television (ETT). The code of ethics was presented at the 47th anniversary of the ETT.

Tunisian national radio

  • Training sessions were conducted with journalists from the Tunisian national radio to enhance professional standards, focusing on journalistic ethics, gender sensitivity, youth and techniques for election reporting.
  • A draft code of ethics for the Tunisian national radio was developed after extensive internal consultation. The draft was presented at World Press Freedom Day 2013.

World Press Freedom Day

  • On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, the UNESCO Project Office in Tunis organized a one-day conference in Tunis. The event brought together journalists, media professionals, civil society, government officials and international experts. Workshops were held on the safety of journalists, the challenges encountered in the development and implementation of a code of ethics, the impact of media in regional development, and women in Tunisian media.

Journalistic ethics and mediation - HAICA

  • Workshops on journalistic ethics and mediation were held at the headquarters of the Independent High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HAICA). Topics covered during the workshop sessions focused on major ethical principles when processing information, such as public interest, privacy, truth, accuracy, impartiality, fairness and integrity. The workshops were also an opportunity to present the role of mediation and the relationship between journalists and the public.

Development partner

Project timeline

1 January 2012 31 December 2013


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