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Media professionals from Northern Africa and the Middle East heard the importance of the media's role in strengthening democracy at a seminar organised last week in Jordan by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Held from 29 September to 3 October in Amman, the seminar brought together participants from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Tunisia, Syria and Yemen.

UNESCO says the aim of the seminar was to raise awareness among journalists in the Arab region of the critical role the media plays in democracy. "By facilitating popular access to information, mass [media] guarantee informed participation in national democratic decision-making processes. A measure of good governance is the degree by which the views and opinions of the public are integrated in policies," UNESCO says.

The organisation believes participants, armed with a deeper understanding of their roles as media professionals, will be better able to contribute to democratic development in their own countries.

For more details, contact Kaliwo Gervasio Gabriel, UNESCO:
[email protected].

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