Text of press release by International Federation of Journalists press release on 11 July
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) today welcomed the launch in
The observatory was opened yesterday in
The opening was followed by a rally attended by hundreds of journalists as well as representatives of government and civil society, parliamentarians and media executives.
The observatory will provide instant and extensive information on events and activities concerning Arab journalists and will publish reports and statistics, commission surveys and undertake studies on all aspects of journalism in the Arab world.
"This is major step forward for Arab journalism and journalists' unions", said Younes M'Jahed, SNPM General Secretary and Vice-President of the IFJ. "For the first time, journalists, analysts and press freedom watchdogs will have at their fingertips extensive information concerning the state of press freedom in the Arab World."
Boumelha told the rally that the centre represented "a huge leap forward" for journalists' unions.
"IFJ Arab affiliates are set to transform our work in the region," he said. "We will now have the tools to scrutinize the state of press freedom in the region and issue authoritative up-to-date and diversified information on a vast range of media issues.
"This is an exciting initiative and there is a will among for IFJ affiliates in the region to build the Observatory into an organizing hub for all our campaigns in the region to advance social and professional rights for all Arab journalists."
The opening coincides with the recent release of the IFJ report Breaking the Chains on the problems facing media and journalists in the
"All of this work will do much to raise awareness of the problems journalists face and will strengthen press freedom campaigns in the region," said Boumelha.
One of the first tasks of the observatory is to publish the most recent annual report compiled by the FAJ's Commission on Press Freedom.
Source: International Federation of Journalists press release,