At the initiative of the Maghreb-Mashreq civil society portal E-Joussour, a project of the Alternative Forum in Morocco (FMAS), over eighty actors (associations, journalists, bloggers, experts, researchers, media operators...) examined the alternative media sector in order to provide information to citizens in Morocco on April 27th and 28th, 2012. With
active participation from countries in Africa (Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt), Europe (France, Belgium), the Mashreq (Palestine, Jordan) and Canada, the seminar and workshops focused specifically on the definition of the scope, role and challenges of alternative media and its accompanying legislative framework. The regulation and self-promotion of this public
interest sector is an essential component of democratization.
Following discussions on international principles and standards as well as performance throughout the world, the participants adopted the following statement:
We, the actors for alternative information of the media domain, researchers and activists who use communication as a tool for democratization and social transformation, recognize that:
1. In the interest of democracy, which has become ineradicable for societies in the Maghreb-Mashreq region, an area of diverse and democratic media that is fed by effective participation and by citizen ownership of protected and legitimate media, is now a decisive stimulus for the future of societies and their modes of governance at all levels and in all sectors of community life.
2. All media fields, stakeholders in the democratization of state and society, must be guided and supervised by the repository of human rights as stipulated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as ethics and deontology of the media as recorded in the charters globally adopted and promoted among media professionals at regional and international levels.
3. That the right to communicate is a fundamental, inalienable and common desire of humanity is clearly proven by the initiatives taken by outspoken citizens, especially by the youth activists in the Maghreb-Mashreq region who utilize Internet networks and social media.
It is a right so modern and decisive for the destiny of peoples that it must be placed at a position of great importance on the agenda of human rights and in internationally recommended models for good democratic governance.
We call for:
• Free and democratic access to information in accordance with the principles of universal human rights
•The implementation of the right to communicate according to internationally
recommended standards and conventions according to standards
• The definition of the terms of regulation (self-regulation) in the alternative media field, in accordance with international democratic norms