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[liberationtech] Wed. 9/26: Rethinking Tunisia's Media in the Wake of Its Arab Spring

Yosem Companys ycompanys at
Tue Sep 18 22:52:00 PDT 2012

*"Rethinking Tunisia's Media in the   *

*Wake of Its Arab Spring"*

* *

With Joan Barata, Professor of Communication Law and Vice Dean of
International Relations at Blanquerna Communication School (Universitat
Ramon Llull, Barcelona)

*Wednesday, September 26, 2012  *

 12:00- 1:30 PM
Annenberg School for Communication
3620 Walnut St, Room 500

Lunch will be served at 11:45 on a first come, first served basis.
RSVP to lsh at

Gwenaël Piaser

Tunisia is the first country of the Arab Spring that has been able to
organize plural, open and internationally-accepted legislative elections
within a reasonable timeframe. A new Constitution has to be drafted and
approved by the new democratic Assembly. Moreover, the new interim
authorities undertook the preparation of a new legal regulatory framework
in the field of freedom of expression, press regulation and audiovisual
media services regulation, including the creation of an audiovisual
regulatory authority. After a long period of exercising their profession
within the constraints of an authoritarian regime, where information was
controlled, manipulated and, if unorthodox, repressed by the State,
journalists are now going through a true catharsis.

Concepts like professionalism, objectivity, rigor, the following of
professional norms and ethics, and the elaboration and assimilation of
editorial rules based on professional criteria are completely new and still
have not been fully understood and taken on by journalists. Tunisia is a
clear case in the Arab world in which the liberalization process already
introduced by Ben Ali did not bring neither economic competition nor
political and social pluralism. The challenges now being faced in order to
guarantee the developement of a true, open and pluralistic public sphere
are extremely complicated.

Joan Barata is a Professor of Communication Law and Vice Dean of
International Relations at Blanquerna Communication School (Universitat
Ramon Llull, Barcelona). He was a Professor at the University of Barcelona
(2001-2005), the Open University of Catalonia (since 1997) and the
Universitat PompeuFabra (2010-2011), as well as visiting scholar at the
University of Bologna (Italy) (2003) and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of
Law (New York) (2003-2004).

His writings and research interests include topics such as freedom of
expression, media regulation,public service broadcasting and poltical and
legal media transitions. He has provided assistance to several institutions
and organizations regarding these issues in countries such as Thailand,
Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, Jordan, Albania, Hungary, Dominican
Republic,Colombia and the United States. In particular, his recent writings
on Tunisia have been commissioned by Internews. He has been Head of
President's Cabinet (2005-2009) and Secretary General of the Catalonia
Audiovisual Council (2009-2011). He has also provided assistance to the
OSCE (2004) and the Council of Europe (2012).
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