Debate in the University on Media Role in Corruption Crimes Trials

Monday, December 4, 2017

Arab American University organized a debate for youth titled “Media Coverage for Corruption Crimes Trials; Whats for it and Whats on it”, in cooperation with the Anticorruption Authority and the NGOs Development Advisory Committee, to improve the media anticorruption role enhance integrity concept and defense mechanisms.

Judge Mohannad Al-Arda from the Supreme Courts Authority, Head of the anti-corruption authority Yaseer Sawafta, Representative of the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate Atef Abu Al-Rob, the NGOs Development Advisory Committee program director Ahmad Abu Al-Heija, and Representative of Palestinian TV and Radio Authority Hasan Abu Al-Rob, all attended the debate.

The session moderated by the Arab American University Political Science lecturer Dr. Ayman Yousef, Head of the Anticorruption Authority blablabla Yaser Sawafta representing the Head of the Authority with the welcoming speech, stressing on the importance of having an anticorruption Power Lobby alongside with the institutions and associations. Pointing that corruption cases is rare and few in Palestine as most people obey laws and rules. He emphasized the Palestinian Media Outlets role to enhance integrity concept and citizens awareness.

He warned them from dealing with false news and intel’s published on social media, calling journalists to check these news pieces before republishing it. Stressing on Investigative Journalism importance, whom contributes in spreading and explaining what happens in reality.

Sawafta also stressed on the importance of holding such debates and targeting the whole community especially Palestinian youth. Explaining that debates like this one organized at the Arab American University can enhance the media Anticorruption role.

The NGOs Development Advisory Committee program director Ahmed Abu Al-Heija talked about the Commission role in anticorruption file and the debate objectives targeting youth which includes an objective discussion and free thought to convey the message to the official objectively without hypocrisy or reaping. Ponting to the importance of the relationship between the advisory body and the Anti-Corruption Commission that aims to raise Palestinian public awareness about integrity and the fight against corruption, and work to prevent corruption.

The debate discussions between the two teams of six university students, among them supporters and dissidents, who reviewed the various aspects of media coverage mechanism for corruption issues in Palestine. The two parties were, supporters team; Yazen Mari, Farah Al-Haj Ahmed, and Tariq Bzour, while the opposing team was Malak Abu-Arar, Yahya Al-Sayed, and Esmat Al-Qasim.

After that, a comment followed. The representative of the Palestinian Journalistls' Syndicate Atef Abu Al-Rob explained that we need to spread the truth without the journalist being subordinate to any party, because the journalist has to convey the truth to the Palestinian public who waits the full information. In order to do so the Journalists Syndicate is seeking for modern law of information and protection for media professionals and the needs to the right to access information law.

The representative of the Palestinian Radio and Television Authority Hassan Abu Al-Rob reviewed the mechanism of partnering with the Anti-Corruption Authority, pointing that all governmental media cover the events in courts and the Anti-Corruption Commission activities with objectivity and professionalism without restrictions. He said the sky is this area’s limit.

Judge Mohanad Al-Adarah of the Corruption Crimes Court pointed that there are partial restrictions on media, which are urgent even if they violate the Basic Law. Explaining, the accused is innocent until proven guilty, so broadcasting corruption trials sessions sometimes violate the witnesses and evidence protection. So it’s sufficient to allow the attendance of any hearing and there is no need for direct media coverage, stressing that court sessions are not confidential.

The session were followed by a discussions with the audience.