شارك المدون والناشط العراقي الاستاذ قيس قزاز في مؤتمر الاعلام الحر لتعزيز وجود صحافة حرة في منتدى اقيم في تونس قبل ايام وكتب عن مشاركته في مدونته مقالاً بعنوان Promoting a free and independent press worldwide conference Tunisia 2012
Mixed Feelings About Current Media Freedoms at Arab Free Press Forum
Wafa Ben Hassine | 25 January 2012
Between January 22-24, 2012, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) hosted the fifth annual Arab Free Press Forum at the Ramada Hotel in Gammarth, a suburb of Tunis. The conference addressed questions concerning the future of Arab media in the context of the broad wave of reforms the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is undergoing. More than 200 media professionals from all across MENA gathered – from Yemen to Morocco. Although the conference opened with a call for greater freedoms, the region’s current state of free expression was subject to debate among the participants.
An Iraqi independent blogger attending the forum, Qais Qazaz, shared similar thoughts in assessing the level of freedom of expression in his home country. “The situation changed dramatically after 2003 – on paper. We are technically able to express ourselves freely and we saw a blossoming of over 700 media organizations. However, it is still very dangerous to condemn the government.” Qazaz went on to say that several dissident media figures continue to be targeted and sometimes assassinated by individuals not associated with the government, but “condoned by it.”
Qazaz said that the Iraqi government has yet to come to fully understand the blogging phenomenon, giving them a huge advantage. “They cannot yet anticipate how bloggers operate due to a lack of familiarity with the field.” Social media interaction, on the other hand, is still heavily monitored. “Behind screens, there is no freedom,” he asserted. When asked what it will take to bring a prospect of real change to press freedom in Iraq, Qazaz unhesitatingly said, “Only a complete overhaul of governmental officials – from the president to every administrative figure.”