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Support of Professional Capacities of Tunisian Journalists, 2011


Prague Global Policy Institute – Glopolis, o.p.s.

Financial support of the Ministry: 300 000 CZK

Implementation period: October and November 2011

The goal of the project was to support the democratic transformation of the Tunisian society by supporting the transformation effort in the field of Tunisian media. This was to be achieved by organizing a two-day seminar in Tunisia where Tunisian journalists can share the experience of Czech media experts from the media transformation in Czechoslovakia after the Velvet Revolution. Apart from the first transformation steps taken in the field of the media in post-revolutionary Czechoslovakia other main topics of the seminar were: the role of the media in a democratic society, regulation and self-regulation of the media and political and financial independence of the media.

The seminar was organized with the help of a Tunisian partner organization - l'Instance Nationale pour la Réforme de l'Information et de la Communication (INRIC) in November 3 and 4. The Czech part consisted of the project manager Šádí Shanaáh and four Czech media experts: Ivo Mathé (former director of the Czech TV), Jiří Majstr (current director of the Czech Press Agency), Miloš Čermák (former redactor of a Czech weekly Reflex and an expert on the new media) and Tomáš Trampota (director of the Institute of Communication Studies and Journalism at Charles University). The seminar was also attended by the Czech ambassador in Tunisia HE Alexander Slabý and his deputy Mrs. Jana Zelingerová. Tunisians were represented by more than thirty journalists and members of the syndicate or expert committees on the reform of the media sector.

Almost half of the total of eight hours of the seminar was devoted to a debate. The following is a list of the most debated issues: How was the Czech media got rid of former collaborators with the previous authoritarian regime? Who and with what mandate/legitimacy decided about the first transformation steps? Were these reforms approved beforehand by legitimately elected Parliament or rather implemented extra-legally and accepted/codified later? What was the reaction of the Czech public on the entry of a foreign capital into the media market? To what extend is foreign capital a threat to the freedom of the media? How state advertising should be regulated? What is a desirable profile of a journalist – a license system or open system? How can one return trust to post-revolutionary media? Who nominates directors of TV or radio and what is the ideal form of a state media? How to increase financial and political independence of the media? What is the most efficient way to educate prospective journalists and to increase the media literacy of the public?