The Democratic Role of Media
The recent political upheavals in the Arab world have underlined the democratic role of media as a critical watchdog vis-à-vis the state.
The allocation of funds from the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has secured the fourth phase of IMS’ Media Cooperation Programme in the Arab World and Iran from 2011 – 2013, in which the support of media as the “fourth estate” will be a central part.
Through support of press freedom, strengthening of media reform, investigative journalism and support of the media coverage in the upcoming elections in Egypt and Tunisia, the activities of IMS can play a role in the support of the democratic aspirations in the Arab world.
IMS will also support democratization in the region through activities focused on social media. The Middle East and North Africa have had the fastest growing number of internet users over the past 10 years and has provided people of the region with new opportunities to voice dissent.
To support these developments, IMS will focus on professionalising the use of social media as a tool to promote transparency, accountability and a diversity of views.
The Vital role of Partnerships
Partnerships are vital to secure maximum impact. The work of IMS therefore includes collaborations with more than 25 Danish, Middle Eastern and North African partners.
IMS in particular values local partnerships and works closely with local partners as the Arab Working Group for Media Monitoring, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism, and Association Marocenne du Journaliste Investigative.
Also, media experts from IMS are these days visiting the south-eastern part of Libya, which has seized to be under the control of Muammar Gadaffi, to prepare for future media activities.