Conference focuses on women’s rights, fight against extremism

Women’s rights, extremism and the importance of journalism were addressed at the 15th Arab Media Conference, which began in Amman on Saturday. (Supplied)
Updated 20 November 2018
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Conference focuses on women’s rights, fight against extremism

AMMAN: Women’s rights, extremism and the importance of journalism were addressed at the 15th Arab Media Conference, which began in Amman on Saturday.
The two-day conference, organized by the Arab Media Center, was held under the patronage of Princess Basma bint Talal, honorary chairperson of the Arab Media Women’s Center (AMWC).
During the opening, Jordanian Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs Musa Maaytah said that the most prominent violation of human rights in the Arab world centers on the right to life itself.
At a time when intolerance and terrorism have increased, he said, “the first right is usually violated, and that is the right to live. We must stand against this violation,” Maaytah said.
“With the new technologies brought upon us, the truth is now harder to portray than ever, and we have witnessed this.”
He said the positive energy between Jordanian and Arab women journalists needed to be enhanced, and women empowered to transform challenges into opportunities to strengthen their positions in the media.
The conference aimed to raise awareness about violations of freedom of expression, and to highlight the work of the media in exceptional circumstances given the conflicts in many Arab countries.
Mahasin Imam, director of the AMWC, said: “We shall never give up, even through pain (in seeking) the truth and facts.”
Nabras Al-Mamouri, president of the Iraqi Women Journalists Forum (IWJF), highlighted the importance of employing the media to promote gender issues, and of women leaders’ efforts individually and collectively to make changes.
The conference was attended by Arab journalists from the UAE, Tunisia, Oman, Algeria, Morocco, Yemen, Sudan, Bahrain and Lebanon as well as a number of other countries.
It addressed issues such as social media, different forms of extremism and their impact on Arab societies, and the role of the media in countering extremism.


Pope Francis issues new warning against fake news

Updated 18 May 2019
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Pope Francis issues new warning against fake news

  • Journalists must be very careful of their choice of words in an era of “hostile language” proliferating everywhere, pope says
  • He also asked the press to speak of those "forgotten by society", such as the Rohingyas of Myanmar and the Yazidis of Iraq
VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis on Saturday urged journalists to desist from publishing fake news, saying it could cause harm, and instead “take time to understand” issues before reporting on them.
Receiving foreign journalists in the Vatican, the pontiff also urged journalists to remain “humble” saying humility “prevents the rotten flow of disinformation and offers the good bread of truth.”
Pope Francis said humility was of great importance as it implies consciousness “that through an article, a tweet, a live broadcast either televised or on radio can do good, but also if one is not attentive and scrupulous, harm.”
He also said journalists must be very careful of their choice of words in an era of “hostile language” proliferating everywhere, especially on social media.
“Everyone knows how the search for truth is difficult and demands humility,” he said.
He also asked the press to speak of “wars forgotten by society.
“Who still talks of the Rohingyas?” he said. “Who still speaks of the Yazidis? They are forgotten and they continue to suffer.”
About 740,000 Muslim minority Rohingya have fled Myanmar for Bangladesh since a brutal military crackdown began in August 2017.
Thousands of refugees attempt to flee the Bangladeshi camps each year in pursuit of better opportunities in countries such as Malaysia and Thailand.
They frequently spend their life savings to embark on dangerous boat journeys they believe will improve their lives, but many fall prey to international human trafficking gangs.
The Yazidi community once numbered around 500,000 members in the mountainous Sinjar region of northwest Iraq, but it was ravaged by the Daesh’s 2014 sweep into the area.
Jihadists killed Yazidi men, forced boys to join their ranks as fighters and abducted and imprisoned thousands of Yazidi women as sex slaves.