Within the framework of the ISF activities to preserve civil peace, Information Center for Research and
Development, Iraqi Council for Peace and Solidarity, the Iraqi association to defend Human Rights, and the Freedom of Press Advocacy Association; held a symposium titled: ” Media between the dialectic of violence, hatred and tolerance” at the Iraqi Council for Peace and Solidarity headquarters, at 10 am on Sat. 30-08-2014.
The session was opened by our colleague Mohammed Al Salami with a short speech, welcoming the participants on behalf of the ISF National Committee, stating that this session comes in continuity to the themes of previous symposium held by NGO member of the ISF, as well as other symposiums that will be held by other NGOs with in the frame work of the ISF to preserve civil peace. He also invited the participants to interact with the speakers, and share their point of views; then he presented the first speaker, Dr Sa’ad Mutter University professor in Faculty of Mass media, the critic in the General Union of Writers in Iraq, and worker in the field of media.
His lecture included a number of themes; the most important was that the problematic of media now, is that it transformed from conveying facts, to feed the of certain ideological aspects of the recipient. What media corporations do now, is that they take the piece of news, program it to be compatible with that ideology, without taking into consideration the outcome of that programming, and it’s effect on society, the gabs it creates between the components of the Iraqi spectrum; thus, media played a very significant role in producing and feeding the phenomenon of intolerance and violence that the Iraqi society is suffering from. Leading to the formation of multiple isolated societies with in the Iraqi texture, denying the National Identity that connects them to the different other.
The researcher presented a fundamental issue regarding how to form Personality the humanitarian which produces a compatible coexisted society that accepts multiculturalism; he gave the following solutions:
- The young and new generations should be familiar with the concept of cultural percentage that can be accomplished according to an objective equation.
- Develop the ability to coexist with and accept others, with the application of practical practices to promote that ability. School picnics are the simple example.
- Ensure the rights of women and children in decent life, and eradicate the prevailing masculine culture.
- Create a National Charter, based on the national identity, and imposes the eradication of the isolated ideological commitments.
After the valuable Dr. Sa’ad’s lecture, Dr. Irada Aljuboori, the professor in mass media faculty stepped in. she gave a lecture on the international standards of professional media work and how not taking these standards into consideration will produce the violence, exclusion and intolerance culture.
She also stated that media in Iraq is not genuine, but it has turned into party propaganda preformed by the media corporations, which all are connected in a way or the other with either a political party or the government; with the absence of independent, credible media corporations that convey the news merely as facts. Dr. Aljuboori also indicated high level of hatred in the media speech in some Iraqi satellite channels, which should be more accurate, balanced and objective in conveying the news, without emphasizing certain aspects of the truth, and deliberately neglecting others that don’t serve, or might harm the ideology that the channel serves.
On the other hand, the researcher indicated the quality of restrictions on journalism, and media work in general, weather governmental in nature, as the restraints imposed by the military operation commands in all over the country on filming or photography; or social restraints; since always there’s the possibility of the presence of someone in the journalist community who is connected with a militia or other armed groups that can threaten the journalist or/ and his family as a consequence to his work, with the absence of the minimum range of protection to the journalist. These restrains also caused the absence of creditable resources of information.
- It is very necessary that the media worker should receive highly specialized training on how to handle reporting professionally in time of the political and social crisis that the country is going through currently.
- Working towards establishing completely independent media corporations that should receive logistical, academic and moral support of the highest levels.
- Amend the laws that impose restraints on journalism in Iraq.
- The legislation of the necessary laws that provide proper protection for those who work in media, and provide sufficient financial support for them, so that they won’t need to fabricate the news.
- It is really necessary to provide proper media coverage for the activities that promote civil peace, and reduce concentration on propaganda.
- Activate objective, studies observation on media corporations, preventing the publishing of fabricated or unproven news.
- Paying attention to the educational aspect and it’s influence in raising young generation familiar with the culture of recognizing the rights of others, accepting them, and respecting the cultural percentage. Also it is very necessary to remove all that provokes dissonance between the different components of the Iraqi spectrum from the schools curricula, starting from KG.
- Holding many activities that insure the interaction between different components of the Iraqi people, and follow up on how the participants are communicating after the activities are over, to insure that they are being introduced to each other cultures, and learning to respect them.
- Further activation to the role of the NGOs; since the Iraqi community is still a pre- state community . The NGOs should introduce the culture of tolerance, respect diversity, and renounce hatred and violence. NGOs should interact directly with people in places of mass gatherings, and concentrate on intellectuals.
At the end of the symposium, the facilitator our colleague Mohammed Alsalami summarized the fundamental points that were discussed through out the session, and thanked the participants for their attendance.
It’s worth to mention that this was the second symposium organized by the ISF organizations, where the first was held by Tammuz Organization for Civil Development on the 23rd Aug. 2014, titled “Hatred Pyramid and the ways of achieving social tolerance”. Also another symposium will follow that will be organized by Engineering Professions Syndicate, Ufuq Organization for Human Resources Development, and the Iraqi Council for Peace and Solidarity, under the title of “Tolerance, concepts and previous experiences” on Sat the 06th Sept. 2014.