Model Course on the Safety of Journalists: Protecting the new generation of journalists in the Arab region

In partnership with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and in collaboration with the Higher Education Directorate at the Ministry of Education and Higher Education in Lebanon, and with the support of Sweden & Norwegian National Commission for UNESCO, UNESCO Office in Beirut is organizing a regional conference to discuss and adopt a “Model Course on the Safety of Journalists at universities”.

To be held on 15 and 16 February 2016 at UNESCO Office in Beirut, this event will bring together around 40 participants representing universities in Lebanon and selected Arab countries (Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Oman), along with experts from UNESCO and IFJ, with the aim to discuss and validate a draft model course for the Safety of Journalists. The course will be available for all universities in the Arab region.

Through the development of this model course, UNESCO, IFJ, and participating universities aim to create an enabling environment for the future journalists, allowing them to cover news in a safer and more professional way, taking into consideration both the local context, as well as the international standards in place.

This event also serves to update the journalism curricula at universities, through adapting and integrating different components of this new safety course.

Furthermore, this model course will introduce students, professors, and deans at media and journalism faculties to the practical aspects of “being a journalist” in a conflict zone or in disaster situations, and also explore the global legal framework established by international law.

This activity comes within both UNESCO and IFJ mandates to promote freedom of expression, safety of journalists, support of independent and pluralistic media and universal access to information. It is also aligned with the UN Inter-Agency Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity led by UNESCO, building upon and contributing to UNESCO efforts dedicated to prevent and denounce crimes against media professionals.