Chairman of Supreme Commission for Media and Communication Reformation in Tunisia, Kamal al-Obeidi
The final report of the Supreme Commission for Media and Communication Reformation in Tunisia issued on April 30, was received with much criticism by several media and journalist professionals in
the country, who said the report is \"full of fallacy and lacks objectivity, credibility, and professionalism.\"
The Tunisian journalist Nasreddine Ben Hadid told Arabstoday the report appears to be based on a thematic methodology rather than a scientific one, adding that the report is similar to an earlier one issued by the commission and seen by Tunisian journalists, particularly the decrees numbered 115 and 116 related to press and media freedom, issued by the commission in November 2011.
\"The commission insisted on activating those two decrees before they were discussed by the elected legislative body, which is the minimum requirement for legislation in a democratic country,\" said Ben Hadid.
Chairman of the National Community of Youth Journalists Abdelrauof Bali said: \"The commission had a lot of problems in its formation, the head of this commission is not aware of the real conditions of the Tunisian media and journalism as he lived abroad for decades, while some of the members of this commission have never worked in the media sector, so it is hardly surprising that the report looked that bad.\"
In the same context, the member of the executive bureau of the National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists, Ziad al-Hany, described the report as \"very weak, and intended to settle personal accounts which have nothing to do with professional measurements.\" Al-Hany also noted that the supreme commission headed by Kamal al-Abeidi \"has turned into part of the problem instead of being part of the solution.\"
The syndicate of the Tunisian Foreign Communication Agency Workers, said that chapter 6 of the report, which is related to the agency\'s performance, lacked any credibility, as this chapter showed the agency was responsible for the former regime\'s propaganda, without hearing the testimonies of the agency\'s officials and employees nor even looking at the agency\'s files. The agency stressed its journalists and employees should not be made a scapegoat for those who were involved in the former regime\'s propaganda, which was the same stance as the official TV syndicate, which rejected the exploitation of this critical period Tunisia\'s media is facing to achieve political targets.
On the other hand, the member of the Supreme Commission for Media and Communication Reformation, Reda al-Kafi has defended the commission\'s report, saying it was based on the opinions of experts and professionals and some international experience of other countries which have already gone through the process of democratic transition.
Al-Kafi, speaking to Arabstoday said: \"The commission was keen to issue a comprehensive report, so we listened to all the related bodies. The report tried to determine the disadvantages of the media and communications sector, which was almost destroyed by the former regime, then we tried to suggest some solutions and recommendations which we think will be useful in developing this sector and ensuring its freedom, independence and objectivity.\"
The report of the Supreme Commission for Media and Communication Reformation took one year to compile. The 368 page report is classified into 10 chapters, discussing the disadvantages of the media and communications sector in Tunisia with recommendations to develop this sector.