The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) announced the kick off its work on the first index on the freedom of the press in Palestine; will be launched by the end of 2018, in the framework of its hard work to promote media freedom in Palestine.
This was announced through around table that engaged journalists, Human Right Defenders and experts in the field, the round table was held at MADA’s headquarter in Ramallah.
The meeting focused on the definition and significance of the index, and discussed the main themes and issues that the index will consist of in order to be comprehensive, objective and accurate about the state of press freedom in Palestine.
The participants emphasized the importance of achieving a general index to measure the freedom of the press in Palestine, based on the specificity of the current Palestinian situation, and the periodicity of the publication of the index in the positive effect towards further entrenching media freedoms and assisting various stakeholders including duty bearers in determining media policies.
On a different note, MADA center previously published a poll on freedom of the press in Palestine earlier this year, noting that, 91% of the journalists surveyed said they were subjected to violations related to their work, 89% assured that legal measures prevented their access to information. This indicates a number of obstacles thathinders the media from operating.
Therefore, the launch of a general index to examine the dissemination of information and ensure the professional access to the public (the main task of the press), would give a more detailed and in-depth picture of the press freedom in Palestine to serve any interference for reform and development.
Finally, MADA center will publish the Freedom of the Press Index and update it regularly that aims to contribute in increasing Palestinians opportunities to freely express their opinion and enjoy their right to access information, through a three- year project funded by the EU entitled “a step forward towards enhancing freedom of expression in Palestine”.