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OBSERVATION OF THE TUNISIENS MEDIA: Monitoring the Coverage of Gender Issues
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From December 20 to March 20, 2013, a group of 12 observers are going to watch the work of 14 media: six daily newspapers, four television channels and four radios according to the methodology developed by the Osservario de Pavia, an Italian research and analysis institute in communication.
During this monitoring, we will analyse all the articles and programmes in order to determine the proportion of women and men presence as well as detect the articles and programmes which are likely to convey a traditional scheme of the social role distribution between the two genders and the relation domination-submission predetermined by the patriarchal system.
One of the aims of the project is to send the results and conclusions of the observation to the information production centre but also get together the most concerned elements of the civil society so that the key points of the programme of action are integrated in the new constitution and/or in the coming act upon information. To do so, an advocacy group will be constituted to carry out this work over a period of six months.
Who will carry out the project?
This monitoring project is carried out by the Arab Working Group for Media Monitoring (Groupe Arabe d'observation des médias), in partnership with the National Committee for Freedom in Tunisia and the Coalition for Women in Tunisia. It is financed by par OXFAM-NOVIB.
The Arab Working Group for Media Monitoring is an independent organization composed both by organizations and individuals in Arabic-speaking countries which develops its activities in the media context, freedom of expression and Human rights. The Group aims at improving professional standards and media policy reforms at national and regional levels by generating reliable and quality data as well as advocating on issues pertaining to freedom of speech and expression and encouraging the association for regional media advocacy campaigns.
The group was initially born as a spin-off from a project supported by the Danish media organization “International Media Support” (IMS) and “the Open Society Institute” (OSI) and whose organizations from Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine and Tunisia monitored and reported on the media coverage of the Presidential elections in Tunisia in 2004. In March 2011, the Arab Media Group for Media Monitoring established itself as a formal institution with its headquarters in Tunis. It expanded its mandate beyond media coverage of elections to monitor media coverage of other pertinent issues that impact the democratic transformation processes underway in the member countries. The Arab Media Group for media Monitoring includes seventeen (17) member organizations from eleven (11) countries.
The National Committee for Freedom in Tunisia (CNLT) is a Tunisian NGO specialized in the defence of human rights. The CNLT was founded when the authorities started to stop the Tunisian Human Rights League (LTDH) from working independently in the mid-eighties. Noticing that the LTDH could not work as it used to, 34 Tunisian leading figures, mostly human rights activists, decided then to create the CNLT in 1998. The founder members chose December 10, Universal Declaration of Human Rights anniversary, to declare the NGO birth. Nevertheless the government at the time did not recognize the organization and forbids its activities. The CNLT will only be recognized after the Tunisian Revolution took place on February 28, 2011.
Today, the CNLT is a part of the International Human Rights League as well as of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights network. The organization aims at protecting these rights and alerts against any breach, in particular during the electoral procedures.
The Coalition for Women in Tunisia is a non-profit network organization created on September 6, 2012 and it is composed of 15 feminist (but not only) non-profit organizations mostly created after January 14. Its aim is to preserve the rights that women have been acquiring since the independence (1956 Code of Personal Status in Tunisia and all the amendments added until 2010) and to promote them, which is the only condition to enable the achievement of the universal values of freedom, equality, dignity and social justice brought by the revolution. The founding non-profit organisations incorporate the gender dimension and share the ideal regarding equality between men and women as a human rights dimension.
The Coalition for Women in Tunisia is also aiming at promoting the principles listed in all the human rights international conventions and the removal of the reservations upon the Convention against discrimination towards women (CEDAW), which have been signed by Tunisia since 1989 and issued in the name of cultural and religious specificities.
Which media will be observed?
The choice of the sampling is based upon two criteria: the status of the media public or private) and the level of diffusion (print run or audience rating). Therefore, we have chosen six daily newspapers among the most important in Tunisia (Al Maghreb, Al Chourouk, Al Tounsia, Al Sarih, La Presse et Le Temps), four television channels, (Watania 1, Hannibal, Nessma et Al Tounsia) and four  radios (Radio Nationale, Mosaïque, Kalima , Zeitouna).
As far as television and radios are concerned, we have decided the following hours:
Televisions: from 7pm to
Radios: 1st time-slot from 7am to 9am; 2nd time-slot from 11.30am to 2pm; 3rd time-slot from 4pm to 6pm.

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