Leading international institutions join forces to respond to the growing challenge of reporting across cultures
Brussels; Alexandria; New York– A new media resource and programme aimed at supporting journalists reporting across the Mediterranean region has been presented on the occasion of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Regional Conference taking place in Malta with the participation of Ministries of Foreign Affairs from the two shores of the Mediterranean.
The resource (www.euromedmedia.org), which provides journalists access to the region’s leading intercultural commentators, as well as opportunities for media practitioners involved in cross-cultural affairs, is part of a joint media strategy initiated by the European Commission, the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation, and the UN Alliance of Civilizations.
Štefan Füle, the European Union’s Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, said: “The European Union, through its policies and programmes, aims at countering the forces that fuel polarisation and extremism into violence. At the same time journalists are constantly faced with the challenge of identifying reliable sources and expertise in order to give their reports context and credibility. The launch of this new media resource aims to help media respond to that challenge.”
The President of the Anna Lindh Foundation, André Azoulay, said: “The media today plays a central role not only in terms of shaping of our perceptions but also the evolution of our values and behaviours. In that regard, this partnership is aiming to support all those journalists who through their courage and talent are able to communicate the complexities of our shared Mediterranean Region.”
Jorge Sampaio, the United Nation’s High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, said: “The launch of the joint media mechanism and resource is a symbol of partnership in action. Through the common action of our institutions at the regional and international level, and with the engagement of media in our diverse communities, we can lay the ground for a new era of intercultural relations and work to rebuild bridges between people and create the conditions for mutual understanding and peace”.
The joint resource is being developed in the framework of the Union for the Mediterranean, the far-reaching political partnership established in 1995 as the Euro-Mediterranean partnership (Barcelona Process) between the governments of the European Union, the Arab ‘Mediterranean’ countries, Israel and Turkey, and re-launched at the 2008 Paris Summit of Heads of State or Government.
In addition to the new online resource, the partners have put in place a rapid response media strategy to employ in times of intercultural crises in the Mediterranean Region, a mechanism to convene meetings with intercultural analysts and journalists on a regular basis, opportunities for networking between journalists from both sides of the Mediterranean and a programme of training and awards for journalists reporting across cultures.