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Makary: “Beirut Document” Takes Us To Different Media According To New Criteria

Caretaker Minister of Information, Ziad Al-Makary, indicated that “the Beirut document, which is the fruit of our cooperation with everyone, takes us to different media according to new standards.”

He added: “We are in constant contact with all media institutions, and we cooperate with international associations from whose expertise, relations and contributions we must benefit, such as UNICEF, UNESCO and others…We also have good relations with various media faculties and centers for graduating journalists and media professionals in Lebanon, but these faculties must be equipped, especially the Faculty of Mass Communication at the Lebanese University, which graduates the largest number of media professionals.”

Makary hoped that the youth in Lebanon will be proud of the great legacy of Lebanese journalists and media professionals and work to preserve it.

However, speaking in an interview with “Radio Free Lebanon” this morning, he regretted that we are missing the youth element in our official institutions nowadays due to lack of employment following the decision of the Council of Ministers. “Youth migration is the biggest problem in the country,” he underlined.

On the issue of liberties, Makary said: “Despite everything that is happening in Lebanon, there is a large area of freedom. We have good judges, but no judiciary…and despite the existence of more than one summons, there are no imprisoned journalists, and this is a good thing.”

He noted herein that “Lebanon advanced 11 points this year to occupy the 118th place, as no journalist has been arrested and complaints were transferred to the Publications Court.”

“The Ministry of Information contributed to this, in addition to the media law that is being studied with UNESCO and will be sent to Parliament,” he added.

Makary revealed that he met with Public Prosecutor Judge Ghassan Oweidat “to organize matters and resort to the Publications Court when a lawsuit is filed against any journalist,” adding, “We began from the existing media law and introduced new international standards, such as separating social media from the media law.”

He continued to indicate that “complaints must be regulated, provided that we resort to the Penal Code in the event of treason, harm to the country, offense to dignities, or defamation. Otherwise, it is possible to resort to the regulatory body, so that fines are imposed or points are withdrawn from the license, similar to what is in force in Europe, and this has nothing to do with limiting freedoms.”

Makary called on media organizations to “secure the needs of their employees and pay the taxes and fees due on their behalf.”

Touching on the changes in the region, the Information Minister said: “We are in a time of Arab-Arab and Arab-Iranian openness, the return of Syria to the Arab League, and the return of diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Lebanon, and the media has a major role in this openness.”



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