The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms “MADA” concluded today, a two-day training course, through Zoom application, aimed at raising awareness of Palestinian journalists from various regions of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, about self-censorship topic in the media and its negative effects on the reality of the Palestinian media and its future in addition to enhancing the capabilities of journalists in the field of media rights and press freedoms.
This training was held within the project “A step forward towards promoting freedom of expression in Palestine” funded by the European Union. It is worth mentioning that the training was carried out over two days. The first day participated in training 25 journalists from the West Bank and 17 journalists from Gaza Strip on the second day.
The training which was conducted by Dr. Ghassan Harb, dealt with many aspects related to self-censorship of the journalist or media organizations in their journalistic work. Also, the training touched on the definition and concept of self-censorship of journalists and the media, its types, and its causes, in addition to the impact of media organization oversight and self-censorship by the journalists themselves on the reality of the Palestinian media and its future. Additionally, the training dealt with self-censorship in domestic and international laws regulating the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the question of positive censorship, the negative aspects of self-censorship, and the violations that journalists are exposed to while doing their journalistic work.
During the workshop, project coordinator, Sharif Haj Ali, pointed out the importance of the training topic, which would increase the knowledge of journalists about their rights, especially with regard to the right to freedom of journalism and freedom of opinion and expression. Also, the training raises awareness about the nature of self-censorship that they exercise on themselves and their media work as a result of the influence of many political and social factors, and finally the negative impact of self-censorship on the development of media and media freedoms, which greatly affects the ability to develop the Palestinian society.
At the end of the training, the participants in the course expressed the importance of such training and the need to deepen the knowledge of journalists in Palestine about self-censorship and its effects, demanded more similar courses to build their capabilities in this field, and to organize joint meetings that bring together journalists and regulatory bodies to open the debate on everything related to censorship.
The participants also recommended the necessity of adopting projects aimed at consolidating a culture of human rights, especially the rights of journalists, and implementing media programs that increase the capacity of the Palestinian journalist and increase awareness regarding their rights and laws related to their work, and called for the creation of an integrated system of journalists and all relevant authorities to protect and defend the journalist.