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Qatar Centers

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Qatar Centers


Known Centers based in Qatar

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Doha Centre for Media Freedom


Year Established: 2002
Short Historical Background

The Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF) is a non-profit organization working for press freedom and quality journalism in Qatar, the Middle East and the world.


Press freedom and quality journalism are vital for empowering citizens to participate in social and political life, while well functioning media are crucial for healthy societies and sustainable economies.

Press freedom is a fundamental human right. Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media, and regardless of frontiers.” The Sana’a Declaration of 1996, adopted by the UNESCO
general conference, pleads for free, pluralistic and independent media in the Arab world.


Protecting freedom of expression and press freedom is a continuous process without an end. Violation of these rights should never be tolerated. Governments and societies have to be helped to move forward to spread a culture of freedom, transparency and accountability.
Governments should provide, and reinforce where they exist, legal guarantees of freedom of expression. Numerous challenges and a significant paradox continues to emerge between the possibilities offered by new technology in the digital age and the challenges they pose to the safety of those who publicly disseminate information.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is going through turbulent times. In this context, DCMF has an extremely important role to play to strengthen press freedom and freedom of expression over the internet and other media across the region and the globe. At the same time we want to improve the safety of media professionals, further access to information, and to open new horizons for dialogue, sharing information and knowledge.



The mission of DCMF is to monitor and work towards the development of an independent and pluralistic press; to undertake actions aimed at promoting, defending and strengthening freedom of expression and of the press; to provide training and raise the level of general education of journalists and media professionals. DCMF seeks to contribute to the strengthening of democracy and human rights inside and outside the Arab world. It aims to promote quality, responsible journalism around the world through its three-tiered approach; observing, building and delivering. DCMF monitors press freedom violations and media development around the world, by which it identifies areas in which to introduce capacity building programs and also to provide emergency assistance and advocacy for journalists across the globe.

DCMF aims:
1. To monitor and highlight press freedom violations around the world;
2. To implement research programs to assist in identifying areas in which the center can contribute to media development;
3. To provide sustainable capacity-building programs to journalists and citizens to help contribute to their safety and security, as well as their professionalism; and
4. To provide assistance to journalists who are suffering as a result of their work.

Programs and Activities

The DCMF focuses its activities in three domains:


• Monitoring
Website - through the DCMF website, it documents and highlights press freedom violations around the world, providing daily news related to media freedom, as well as features and special reports on a variety of subjects.
Research and reflection - through research initiatives, DCMF works to identify certain problems in particular countries or regions. Research and reflection also contribute to the development of the center’s other activities and programs.


• Capacity Building
Training - press freedom and quality journalism go hand in hand. DCMF runs a variety of training courses and workshops for journalists throughout the region, as well as other parts of the world.
DCMF often invites experts to conduct workshops, aiming to improve the quality of journalism as well as protecting their safety and security.


• Media Literacy - one of the objectives of the DCMF is to promote press freedom through media and information literacy. Ultimately, media literacy will lead to increased access to information and ease the free flow of ideas. DCMF has implemented a comprehensive media literacy program for students in Qatar, and has begun to expand the initiative throughout the region.


• Advocacy
Emergency Assistance - Journalists who are subjected to harassment, detention or ill-treatment as a consequence of their professional activity, especially during crises times, are entitled to direct assistance. The DCMF Emergency Assistance team can be contacted day and night, by mail, phone or twitter, and subject to examining the legitimacy of journalists’ claims, provides financial assistance to media workers to help them remain safe and continue to carry out their work.


Outlook - DCMF provides advocacy for journalists in danger, issuing press releases about media workers in need and attempting to garner support for various causes. It organizes debates, seminars, symposiums and conferences on press freedom, media legislation, access to information and the implications of technological changes, new media and social media.


Doha Centre for Media Freedom (DCMF)
P.O. Box 24543, Doha, QATAR
ph (974) 4418-2208
e-mail: contact[a]dc4mf.org

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