Updated- AMAN GA discusses role of media in combating terrorism, protecting journalists

Sharm El-Sheikh, SANA- Two symposiums were held Monday in the framework of the Annual meetings of the General Assembly of Alliance of Mediterranean News Agencies “AMAN”, the first was on the role of media in combating terrorism while the second was on protecting journalists in times of wars and conflicts.

Earlier Monday AMAN General Assembly started at the Egyptian City of Sharm El-Sheikh with the participation of the Syrian Arab News Agency “SANA”.

Participants in the first symposium discussed the performance of mass media over the past five years and the role of some of them in supporting terrorism directly and indirectly.

During the symposium, the lecturers affirmed that the freedom of news reporting should be accompanied by the responsibility and should take into consideration the receiver and the possibility of harming him/her by broadcasting false or fabricated news.

Director-General of the Syrian Arab News Agency “SANA”, Ahmad Dawa, speaking at the symposium, said that fabricating news on what Syria is facing of terrorist war by some of the regional and international media outlets only serves the armed terrorist organizations on the ground.

Dawa added that some media outlets have become tools speaking on behalf of the terrorist organizations in violation of the rules of the professional work which entail the nonparticipation of any mass media in helping terrorist organizations or in the spread of terrorism.

On the other hand, the second symposium focused on protecting journalists as Dawa reviewed the measures taken by the Ministry of Information in Syria to protect the Syrian, Arab and foreign journalists.

He affirmed that journalists have been attacked by the terrorist organizations, and the Ministry of Information exerted all possible efforts to ensure the safety of journalists’ work and all the requirements of performing their duty with credibility and objectively.

Earlier during the opening session, Former Egyptian Information Minister and Head of the Egyptian Media Production City Osama Haikal underlined the necessity of combating all forms of terrorism regardless of its definition or place, criticizing at the same time the international dispute on defining terrorism.

Haikal said “The effect of terrorism on the Arab region have been much more than its effect on any part of the whole world.”

He called for correcting the misconceptions regarding religion, underlining the necessity of also correcting the religious discourse to become in line with the spirit of the age.

The three-day AMAN meetings will discuss the situations of AMAN and enhancing media and technical cooperation between Alliance’s members.

R.J/ Barry