Media should assume role as ‘fourth estate’

jordan_times

The Arab media sector, now more than ever, should assume its role as the “fourth estate”, reflecting the reality, analysing it and highlighting differing points of view, HRH Princess Basma said.

Speaking at the opening of the 10th Arab Women Media Conference on Thursday, Princess Basma, who is the honorary chairman of the Arab Media Women’s Centre (AMWC), said women were still unable to reap the fruits of popular protests in the Arab world.

Highlighting the “distinguished” presence and achievements realised by Arab women in the media, the princess said there is still a need for more work to build on their success and not allow any setbacks.

She underscored the need for the media to become a “democratic institution” by and of itself to accommodate the current regional developments and their repercussions.

This can only be reached, she stressed, through professional, independent, objective and honest media.

Participants at the three-day conference, held in the city of Petra under the title “Arab Media in light of the Democratic Transition”, discussed changes taking place in the region and their impact on politics, society, tourism, media and the economy, as well as their role in shaping the identity of societies.

Karama Foundation Regional Coordinator Amneh Helweh said despite their active participation in public movements in several Arab countries, women are still “marginalised” in the wake of the Arab Spring.

Forty journalists from Egypt, Tunisia, the UAE, Morocco, Algeria, Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Qatar and Sudan took part in the conference, which concluded on Saturday, in addition to 10 Jordanian media figures.

Established in 1999 under Princess Basma’s directives, the AMWC seeks to empower Arab women journalists. 

The original article appeared online in The Jordan Times.