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13.03.2013 - Communication & Information Sector

Cairo workshop discusses UNESCO’s Assessment of Media Development in Egypt

© UNESCO -Minister of Information of Egypt Salah Abdel Maqsoud (middle) welcoming the initiative.

A validation workshop to present UNESCO’s Assessment of Media Development in Egypt based on the UNESCO/IPDC Media Development Indicators was held at Cairo University on 7 March 2013. The meeting brought together over 80 media professionals, academics and NGO representatives to discuss and finalize the findings of this comprehensive analysis of the Egyptian media landscape. It was opened by Egypt’s Minister of Information, Salah Abdel Maqsoud.

A first Interim Assessment Report was published by UNESCO in September 2011, in order to provide initial input into discussions on legal and constitutional reform following the events of the Arab Spring.
The current report provides a more detailed and in-depth analysis, and takes into account several subsequent changes in the media environment.  The assessment was carried out by a team of five independent media researchers. The lead author of the report was Toby Mendel, Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Democracy. He was supported by Yasser Abdel Aziz, prominent Egyptian media expert, and assisted by two junior researchers, Fatima Al-zahraa Abdel Fattah and Hany Ibrahim Mahmoud. Rasha Nabil Allam, Associate Professor at the American University in Cairo, also significantly contributed to the report.

The event, which was broadly covered by the Egyptian media, was chaired by Hassan Emad Mekawy, Dean of the Faculty of Mass Communication of Cairo University and Marius Lukosiunas, UNESCO Cairo Office Advisor for Communication and Information. Toby Mendel, Hassan Emad Mekawy and Naomi Sakr (University of Westminster) who peer reviewed the report presented the findings and recommendations. 
Vibrant discussion then followed, and overall the report was evaluated by participants as an important and successful initiative. It will now be published in print in early April and will also be made available on the UNESCO website.
The assessment of Egypt’s national media landscape was carried out with support provided by the Kingdom of Belgium within the framework of UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication. Similar assessments have already been carried out by UNESCO in ten countries.

>> Link to UNESCO/IPDC Media Development Indicators

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