AFP launches media training on development issues

The AFP Foundation has launched a training programme in Lebanon for print and radio journalists to better cover development issues locally, the Agence France-Presse reported today.

Created in partnership with the UN Development Programme and Canal France International, the two-year programme, “Media for Development,” will be conducted in Arabic. The AFP will train print and radio journalists, while CFI will train television journalists.

“Recent events have made clear the link between freedom, information and economic development,” AFP chairman and CEO Emmanuel Hoog said, referring to uprisings in Arabic countries. “These values are central to AFP and to the essence of democratic development.”

Lebanon’s press environment is one of the freest in the Middle East; however, the country dropped 17 places last year in the Reporters Without Borders 2010 World Press Index, to 78th of 178 countries.

Speaking at a United Nations Development Fund yesterday, Information Minister Tarek Mitri called for more government transparency, and noted that the inability for media outlets to acquire information openly “undermines the morals and ethics” of society, Zawya reported. He also condemned relationships between some journalists and political figures that could harm impartiality by the press.

The group, mostly made up of TV journalists, will attend workshops on covering developments in the Arab world and Africa, general conflict situations, sporting events, journalism conduct and ethics, according to Zawya.

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