EU launches 5-year Media Support Programme for Tunisia (PAMT2)
30/11/2021 19:10, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) – The European Union (EU), on Tuesday, launched a €4.5-million 5-year Media Support Programme for Tunisia (PAMT2) at a press conference in Tunis.

The programme follows PAMT1 (2017-2020), which was run by the African Centre for Training Journalists and Communicators (CAPJC). The PAMT2 will be implemented under direct management mode, involving all media stakeholders, regulatory institutions and the civil society.

Both programmes are part of the EU's Economic Governance Support Programme.

PAMT2 will focus on six areas of work, including regulation and economic transparency, as well as professional ethics. The Public Service Media (PSM) will also be at heart of the PAMT2 with a special focus on the management of private and community media. Emphasis will also be placed on adapted and innovative content, public communication, access to information and media and information literacy (MIE).

Technical assistance will be implemented in a consortium between European and Tunisian media development specialists. It will be led by Canal France International (CFI): a French audiovisual cooperation organisation, subsidiary of the France Télévisons Group.

Tunisia's «Article 19» organisation is among CFI's partners, who also include ANSA (Italy), Thomson Media and Deutsche Welle Akademie (Germany). Two other French media, France Médias Monde and Institut National de l'Audiovisuel (INA), are also on the list of partners.

«The European Union seeks to provide multidimensional support to the media sector, whether public, private or community media,» said EU Ambassador to Tunisia Marcus Cornaro.

This European support in terms of expertise will be «based on the achievements and lessons learned from PAMT1,» he added, while presenting the blueprints of a programme enabling the public to make informed decisions on socio-economic issues and to participate more actively in democratic debates.

«The media are called upon to play a role in informing, debating and strengthening democracy and fundamental freedoms,» Cornaro declared.

«Free access to information and freedom of expression contribute to a culture of accountability and transparency - cornerstones of democracy,» the European diplomat added.

Director of the CAPJC Saïd Ben Kraïem, for his part, voiced satisfaction at the success of PAMT1, which further encouraged donors «to finance a new programme and therefore be part of this continuity.»

He expressed concern about the sector, but saie he remains optimistic that «this new programme in direct management mode will certainly support a media landscape in search of professionalisation.»

The head of CAPJC cited 149 training sessions and 210 activities throughout the PAMT1, which benefited 1600 journalists. They, however, remained insufficient to fill the gaps in the sector, according to him.

He also mentioned that 7 public media facilities received equipment, namely the National Television and Radio, TAP News Agency, La Presse, IPSI, HAICA and CAPJC.

The mid-term evaluation of PAMT1, presented by Ben Kraïem, shows «the objectives correspond to the sector's needs in terms of reform, professionalisation of journalists and managers and backing local information.»

The major obstacle to improving the media sector is the training of media executives in business management, he pointed out.

This PAMT2 is the third EU-funded media support programme in Tunisia aimed ensuring essentially reliable and pluralist information.

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