Capacity development is at the core of our work. Through our network of Arabic-speaking trainers, journalists and institutions, and our tried-and-tested training methodologies, we strengthen journalistic quality at multiple levels, we provide skills training for journalists and students of journalism, editorial management and business development for media institutions, and we strengthen the training skills of journalism trainers.
Al Sawt al Hurr has a strong legal component. It has developed a regional pool of media lawyers and legal trainers. The network offers legal advice to journalists and makes information on media legislation available for a wider audience. We do not offer legal defense or financial support, but have the network to connect journalists in distress to relevant institutions. We offer courses in legal awareness for journalists, and have much experience in developing codes of conduct for media institutions.
Al Sawt al Hurr builds coalitions. Partnerships enhance the impact and sustainability of our work. Within and between various Arab countries, we constantly develop new relations with media institutions, syndicates, bar associations, journalists and civil society actors. We spend substantial time and energy in enhancing and maintaining all these linkages. We also aim to build bridges between different actors, sectors and countries through linking activities.
Seminars and Meetings
Together with specific partners, we host, facilitate or are otherwise involved in (semi-) public events that discuss media, the role of media or specific media-related topics. Such meetings aim to initiate or strengthen the debate on specific issues and to raise awareness of the important role that media plays in society.
Media and civil Society
Al Sawt al Hurr does not directly engage in civil society activities or human rights work, other than that relating to freedom of expression and access to information. However, work focussing on, for instance, the rights of women or labor issues inevitably has a media component. Through our partnerships, we try to strengthen the voices of groups that have limited media access. Through working with journalists to raise awareness of issues and with civil society to increase its outreach in the media, we aim to raise the profile of such issues, in line with our vision.
Enhancing the working environment for journalists
Journalists in the MENA region are under much pressure. Wages are low and work pressure is high. In general, the public regard for the journalistic profession is not as high as we at Al Sawt al Hurr believe it should be. Journalists play a central role in public life and are key in human development. As such, through our work we aim to facilitate public discussions around the role of media in society, while simultaneously raising the standards of journalism to bring about increased respect for the work of media professionals.