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Moroccan Media Decision Makers’ conference to be held in London

Date event: 25-26 February 2010

15 February 2010.

Over 20 leading Moroccan media decision makers will be attending a two day conference & study tour organised by the Media Diversity Institute in London on 25th-26th February 2010.

The event is called “Inclusive Media for Inclusive Societies” and is part of a two year project funded by the FCO to support a more responsible and inclusive media in Morocco.

The purpose of the event is to expose Moroccan senior editors to some of the issues facing the UK media in relation to self-regulation, reporting diversity and journalistic ethics.

In addition to conference discussion sessions, the editors will be visiting senior executives from the BBC Diversity Department and Arabic Service, Channel 4 and the Guardian.

The editors attending this event will be from government, party and commercial broadcast & print media outlets in Morocco. They have expressed an interest in learning more about how to engage the whole of society in the media, the application of editorial codes of practice, and how to handle media clashes with the government.

Moroccan media both a beacon and a battleground

Morocco’s media scene is viewed as one of the more progressive media industries in the Arabic-speaking world, but the country remains hounded by a poor human rights record and low democratic standards. Journalists stand in the midst of this national process, which is also further threatened by the growth of Islamic extremism from abroad.

“The discussion on inclusive media comes just at the right time”, says Milica Pesic, Executive Director of the Media Diversity Institute, “Morocco offers a glimpse of how the Arabic media could develop over the next 10 years. There are some very positive signs. The Moroccan media are pushing the boundaries and trying to report on important and controversial issues, but on the other hand three newspaper editors were given jail sentences last year for reporting questions about the Moroccan King’s health.”

The Media Diversity Institute is an international organisation, based in London, devoted to the promotion of responsible journalism as a means to improve inter-community relations, increase tolerance and encourage dialogue among individuals and groups coming from different backgrounds.

Over the last 10 years MDI has worked in Europe, the former Soviet States, West Africa, the Middle East & North Africa and South East Asia. MDI works with journalism academics and students, media decision makers and journalists, as well as with NGOs specialized in diversity issues.

MDI promotes responsible journalism – fair, accurate, sensitive and inclusive.

The ‘Inclusive Journalism: a Pilot Media Programme to Promote Inter-Community Dialogue and Pluralism’ Project

The goal of the project is to establish a culture and forum among media professionals in Morocco that will support the process of building awareness and capacity for greater social and cultural inclusion through responsible reporting on the country’s diversity.

In order to achieve its aims, the project will engage media regulators, media decision makers, journalists, journalism academics and students, and civil society organisations in Morocco.

Key project activities include:

The formation of a National Programme Advisory Board that will introduce and foster the culture of Inclusive Journalism in Morocco.
Conferences bringing together leading Moroccan media decision makers to debate the issues around inclusive journalism.
Production oriented training courses for journalists.
Establishment of a Young Inclusive Journalists’ Network, to support project participants in their efforts to foster a culture of inclusive journalism.
Production and dissemination of media content in the Moroccan and UK/foreign media.
Development of Inclusive Journalism courses at Moroccan universities.
Media advocacy training to help civil society organisations representing marginalised groups in Morocco get greater media coverage of their issues.
Establishment of an Inclusive Journalism Award in Morocco.

Interviews

On the 25 February, Milica Pesic, Executive Director of the Media Diversity Institute will be available for interviews after 10:30am. To secure an interview with Milica Pesic or one of the speakers, please contact MDI’s London office in advance of the event.

The press is invited to attend the opening session at the Grange Fitzrovia Hotel, 20-28 Bolsover Street, London, W1W 5NB on 25th February 2010, from 09.30-12.30. The rest of the event will be closed sessions.

For more information contact [email protected] / 020 7255 2473.

Further background on MDI’s work is available at www.media-diversity.org

Photos available on request.

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