Antelias, August 5th, 2002
1 – After the last situations which troubled all Lebanese from all religions and movements, the World Forum of Professionals in the Secular and Religious Media in Lebanon considers that it exists a campaign lead by certain power representatives under the sign of “preserving the security” after the partial Metn elections and the last August 7th events. It reached its threat top with the ungrateful crime committed by Ahmed Mansour inside the Indemnity Teachers Funds. It seems that the mass media, especially the opposite and independent one, is victim any time the country faces impossible internal difficulties.
2 – In front of this critical dramatic reality, it is necessary that the Forum gives the following remarks:
A – In the democratic regimes, the mass media has a developmental role in peace service, due to its three basises, truth, justice and freedom. This requires cooperation with officials to find the difficulties of the society so they seek to treat them according to the public benefit without being limited by the interests of figures of the power. In injustice regimes, the mass media role is minor every time its vision and regulations are opposed to certain officials’ vision, regulations and private interests.
B – Some mass Medias claim for the cancellation of the news introduction on televisions and radios, and definition of forbiddances which shall not be touched without any logical reason, proofs that the Lebanese society did not reach yet the necessary average of stability, which is the responsibility of every one, and the main responsibility of the State. It is worthy that these problems are treated by cooperating with the mass media by shedding the light on it instead of preventing it from achieving its role by darkening or deforming it.
C – Officials could benefit from official Medias as from private Medias, support them instead of margining them, and consider them Medias in the service of development, tourism, resistance, education and other vital sectors. The continuity of campaigns which incur any person who does not write official articles or does not speak but as his point of view, frightens that Lebanon has reached an advanced phase towards annulling itself through annulling the most important raison d’être.
D – The Forum reminds the officials that they shall not burden the mass media with their mistakes misdeeds. Thus the State shall hold for responsible the person who aggresses public freedoms and the freedom of expression instead of the one who talks about.
Thus, the Forum invites all officials, free citizens and institutions of the civil society to realize the current critical period in our country and region while the Forum of thankful Arab journalists prepare themselves to face the new campaign staged by “extremist Zionistic departments in Europe and United States against Arabs for defending the continuous Israeli assault against the Palestinian people, and they began to focus in the last period on the press role and on the trial of deforming the Arab press role in its all departments.”
Did we all realized which risks enclose the Arab press in general and the Lebanese press in particular in this crucial period? Then, what kind of media do we want and in the service of which case?
Translated by: Joyce Tary