Antelias, February 28, 2006
1- The media address- filled with challenges and accusations- had reached a very dangerous stage, which started to threaten stability and national integrity. The first source of this media address is the mass media channels, and secondly, the active community powers: political, religious and social. However, the media personalities bear the first responsibility because they have to choose editing and present news in a suitable way. On the other hand, media channels must not change to war blocks at times of peace, because it would lead the country to a state of disorder and anarchy.
2- News bulletins, especially radio and T.V., have changed to barricades for exchanging cheap media accusations which remind Lebanese of the dark days of war, when media channels were extensions to present day, powers (power of fait accompli. It is not possible to claim that this is the result of freedom of opinion and speech, and claim democracy for broadcasting anything of this nature. What is applied in highly developed democratic countries is different from what is practised in Lebanon; Freedom means responsibility and democracy is understanding and mutual respect, not anarchy, insult and injuring people dignities.
3- It is be necessary to review the fundamental principles, on which licenses and permissions were given to these radio and T.V stations, since their laws contradict with the state laws. The way in which these were distributed assures the danger of this matter, since they were given as quotas, which create a lot of danger on community unity and future approaches.
4- The political address, of most political class bears the great responsibility of creating an atmosphere of tension and alertness among the Lebanese. However, it is expected from these politicians, to practice an address which brings stability, serenity, national security and peace. The war the Lebanese lived through, clarified that words could be changed to real war tools for a real war which would destroy all components of the country and society.
The Union sees that all those responsible for mass media channels, all journalists, and all the political, religious and social leaders, are called to understand that the various media addresses, play main roles in societies, and biased or instigating addresses may bring great danger to the society. The utmost need today is, to follow self- controlled responsibility which might protect us from the spread of animosity disease, and participate in bringing or tracing links and ties among the citizens, whereby the country will be safe and regains its future march.
Translated by: Moris Jahshan