The Doha Centre for Media Freedom has landed in Libya once again as it continues its mission to help free the country’s media.
It has joined a 13-member delegation of international media support organisations for a week-long visit, which began on October 28.
Beginning in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, the team will meet with media practitioners and National Transitional Council officials. They plan to move to Tripoli and will hold workshops on media law, audio visual regulation, safety and the plan to building a vibrant, free media.
By visiting media outlets in both cities, the delegation plans to gather information and assist some of the hundreds of new news organisations springing up in the aftermath of the revolution.
Mahmoud Shammam, who is accompanying the delegation, welcomed the move.
"The delegation's mission, aim of working with local media outlets and helping us regulate the media landscape in the new Libya is exactly what we need at this time,” he said.
Shammam founded Libya TV in March, a Qatar-based network which aimed to be the antidote to state television.
Jan Keulen the DCMF director said the visit is an “important foundation for a holistic Arab and international approach to the building of a free media in the new Libya.”
He has also called for a possible follow up meeting in Qatar this winter.
It is the DCMF’s second trip to the recently liberated country. During the final stages of the uprising, the Centre announced it had been given a budget to help support media freedom in Libya.
Daoud Kuttab, the head of the Community Media Network in Jordan, is also part of the visiting delegation. He stressed the value of the trip, in terms of solidifying partnerships.
“The goal of our trip is not merely to assess the media situation,” he said. “We are going to Libya to show solidarity with independent Libyan journalists and the fledging free media and to find ways in which we can work together.”
The Copenhagen-based International Media Support (IMS) is also a key member.
Jesper Hojberg of the IMS said the visit will help international media organisations to coordinate and “better focus its efforts based on the expressed needs of our Libyan colleagues.”
Article 19, Internews (US), Free Press Unlimited (Holland), International News Safety Institute, Sawt Al Hurr (Egypt), PenMedia (Palestine), The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers - WAN-IFRA, World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC), and Arab Network for Human Rights Information (Egypt) are also all part of this effort.