Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF) is inviting journalists, media enthusiasts and members of the public to attend a programme of special events and activities organised to commemorate the upcoming World Press Freedom Day.
Falling on May 3 each year, World Press Freedom Day offers the opportunity to recognise the work that journalists and media organisations are doing to protect media freedom across the globe, and provides a chance to reflect on the serious threats and danger under which many international journalists have to carry out their work.
To mark the occasion this year, the centre is inviting interested attendees to participate in its May 1 programme of activities, exhibitions and forums, aimed at shedding light on the state of media in the region and around the world.
The programme of events, to be held at the Al Nishara hall in the Hilton hotel, will begin at 8.30am with the opening of the various exhibitions, and will continue with a panel discussion focusing on the “Media Scene in Qatar: Past, Present and Future,” to be moderated by leading Qatari journalist Mohamed Al-Marri.
The forum will feature a number of prominent political and media figures, including H.H. the Emir’s secretary for follow-up affairs, HE Saad bin Mohamed Al-Rumaihi; executive chair of the Qatar Media Institution, Mubarak Jiham Al-Kawari; editor-in-chief of Al Sharq newspaper, Jaber Al-Harami and the head of media and public relations at the Qatari Institution for Child and Woman Protection, Elham Bader Al-Sada.
The forum, which will take place between 10am and 12.30pm, will discuss the state of media in Qatar, the main challenges they face and the best ways to enhance their quality and the governing regulations.
The discussion will be held in Arabic, but simultaneous translation into English will be available.
Following the discussion, the winners of DCMF’s inaugural World Press Freedom Cartoon Contest will be announced. The centre is delighted to welcome renowned Syrian cartoonist, Ali Ferzat, as well as director of Cartoonists Rights Network International, Robert Russell to Doha to honor the winners of the contest. They will be joined by locally-based fellow jury members Mohammed Abdullateef from the Qatar daily Al Raya, and Shujaat Ali Shamshad, the animation cartoonist who currently works for Al Jazeera Network, as well as DCMF director, Jan Keulen, to present the awards to the contest’s three winning entries.
Ferzat, who has been persecuted by the Syrian regime, will speak about the role that cartoons have played in the ongoing revolution, while Russell will give a presentation about the importance of cartoons as a tool to promote media freedom.
With artists depicting the theme ‘Media Freedom,’ Doha Centre for Media Freedom’s World Press Freedom Cartoon Contest received 237 entries from 47 countries around the world, providing an interesting insight into how cartoonists perceive the global threat to press freedom and access to information, and serving as a clear indication of the power of cartoons to embody these concepts.
The centre will also host a photo exhibition documenting the plight of Palestinian journalists during the last war on Gaza, when many media professionals and outlets were targeted by Israeli forces.
Doha Centre for Media Freedom currently operates a bureau in Gaza, which provided a safe haven for journalists who wished to continue reporting from inside Palestine during the war. The centre was itself damaged in a bombing attack, and in December, DCMF officials visited Gaza to express solidarity with the centre and journalists who had been affected by the ongoing violence there.
DCMF’s commemorative activities will also include an “Expression Wall,” allowing visitors to write their views about the past, the present and the future of media in Qatar.
Following the programme, from May 2-5, the Gaza photography exhibition and the cartoon contest exhibition will be displayed at Katara in the art studio, building number 19.