CHMK held the first National Forum for Media Reform

CHMK, Kurdistan Region of Iraq: The Kurdish Media Watchdog Organization (CHMK.ORG) held the first National Forum for Media Reform that was sponsored by the Kirkuk Media Cooperation on Saturday (10 July 2021) at Dawa Hall in Sulaymaniyah.

The forum sessions began at 10:00am with a speech by the Governor of Sulaymaniyah, Dr. Haval Abubakir, then the supervisor of the Kirkuk Media Cooperation, Shwan Dawdi, and the General Director of the National Forum for Media Reform, Dr. Shwan Adam Aivas, each of whom emphasized the importance of media reform in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

The forum, which was attended by elite of journalists, academics and political officials in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, included four sessions in which media professionals, academics, and journalists participated, who presented a number of topics related to reform in the Iraqi Kurdish media.

The first session of the forum dealt with “media reform between centralization and decentralization of political parties”, the supervisor of the media office at the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan; Stran Abdullah presented the topic entitled “national media reform from the perspective of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan”. Then  Muhammad Ahmad from the Komal Media Network presented a topic entitled “media reform from the perspective of the Justice (Dadgari) Group in Kurdistan”, Aso Hamid, an official of the Yakgarto Media Network spoke about the Kurdistan Islamic Union’s viewpoint on media reform. Finally, the journalism room coordinator in the Change Movement; Deller Abdulkhalq, spoke about “media reform from the change movement’s perspective.”

The second session of the forum was entitled “media reform between legal and professional disciplines”, with the participation of Prof. Dr. Muhammad Mahawi, who raised the topic of media reform in dictionaries, grammar, speech, and language presentation. Then Prof. Dr. Saman Fawzi from the University of Human Development presented a topic entitled “media reform between disruption and legal regulation”, after which Assistant Professor Dr. Zhia Abbas from the University of Sulaymaniyah, presented a topic entitled “media reform in covering unpopular topics in society; referring to the phenomenon of suicide and murder. Finally, Dr. Sadiq Hamagharib from Salahdin University presented a topic entitled “media reform in news and social media sites.”

The third session was focused on the topic of “media reform between education and higher education”, in which Assistant Professor Dr. Ibrahim Saeed from the University of Sulaymaniyah participated, and he spoke about “media reform in the media work environment”, while Dr. Hataw Hamasalih from Halabja University spoke about “media reform and its role in correcting the misleading image of women in society.” Then Assistant Professor Dr. Araz Ramadan from Raparin University spoke about “media reform between the production and use of the media message”. After that, Assistant Professor Dr. Ahmed Omarbali from the University of Human Development spoke about “media reform in postgraduate studies and media research”.

The fourth and final session of the forum entitled “media reform between censorship and a free work environment”, in which Kurdistan Parliament Adviser; Tariq Jawhar participated, talked about “the role of Kurdistan Parliament in legal media reform”, then Karwan Anwar, the Director of The Kurdistan Journalists Syndicate in the Sulaymaniyah branch talked about the role of his syndicate  in supporting media reform.”

In the end, Dr. Shwan Adam Aivas, as General Director of the First National Forum for Media Reform, said, “we have gotten 20 recommendations from the four-panel discussions, and then we will send them to those who care about media reform in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to work on the recommendations of the Forum.”