World Association of News Publishers

Screening for Press Freedom

Screening for Press Freedom

Article ID:


To mark World Press Freedom Day, members of WAN-IFRA’s Middle East Media Freedom Committees produced a series of videos to show the challenges journalists face in the region and encourage the media to remain free.

By Colette Davidson

One video was produced in Palestine, five others in Jordan, but their goals were ultimately the same: to show the obstacles that journalists face in the Middle East and how to improve the situation.

On 3 May, World Press Freedom Day (WPFD), two groups of journalists from WAN-IFRA’s Media Freedom Committee (MFC) in the MENA region came together in a show of solidarity to promote press freedom.

In Palestine, members of Production Company, with funding from WAN-IFRA, conducted a series of short interviews with local journalists asking them what restricts media freedoms in Palestine, as well as what measures can be taken to make things better.

Screened during the UNESCO WPFD event in Ghana and followed by a discussion, the video was also disseminated across three popular news agencies in Palestine: 24 FM, Bethlehem 2000 and Al-Fajer Al-Jadeed.

Meanwhile, Jordan MFC chair Heba Obeidat, in partnership with the Dialogue for Change Initiative and with funding from WAN-IFRA, produced five videos. Topics ranged from the Jordanian Penal Code, the Right to Information Act, the obstacles faced by women journalists in the media, the obstacles facing cartoonists and hate speech.

The videos were not only shown during the WPFD event but were also posted on YouTube as well as the Facebook page for the Dialogue for Change Initiative.

Obeidat says she was motivated to present the videos at a time when social networks and the internet play such a major role in Jordan, helping to shape public opinion and direct political agendas. It is a phenomenon shared by many other countries in the MENA region.

“The world has recently resorted to the use of new media as an alternative to traditional media,” says Obeidat. “This technology has expanded the margin of freedom enjoyed by individuals in the Arab world and stimulated political participation and practice. It is also one of the channels for… expanding the options available to them.”


The video from the Palestine MFC can be viewed here.


The videos from the Jordan MFC are available via YouTube and the Facebook page for the Dialogue for Change Initiative.


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2018-05-29 12:12

Contact information

In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...