As part of an internal training cycle initiated by the High Authority for Audio-visual Communication (HACA) of the Kingdom of Morocco, the HACA and the Council of Europe organised in Rabat a series of experience sharing workshops for HACA’s staff members during the first half of 2017.
The first workshop, which took place on 24 January 2017, was conducted by Elisenda Malaret Garcia, Professor of Public Law at the University of Barcelona. Through various European examples, Ms Malaret looked at freedom of expression and its connection with media pluralism. She focused on the guarantees of pluralism in the audio-visual market.
On 22 February 2017, Onur Andreotti, jurist at the European Court of Human Rights and Filipa Menezes, media analyst at the ERC's Media Analysis Department (the Portuguese regulatory authority) conducted the second workshop. This session focused on how freedom of expression can coexist with other rights and interests in the audio-visual sector. Mrs Andreotti presented the case law of the European Court of Human Rights relevant to freedom of expression, in particular ECtHR decisions on defamation and hate speech. Ms. Menezes looked at some cases of hate speech and defamation that the ERC had to face. She also mentioned the concept of human dignity and how to prevent stigmatisation of some specific population on television programs.
Finally, the third training, held on 10 May 2017, examined cultural and linguistic diversity in the audio-visual sector and on media education. Oliver Gerber, media lawyer at the Swiss Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM), presented the Swiss public service model that aims at ensuring and promoting linguistic and cultural diversity in the country. He also highlighted the major challenges this policy entails. Stephanie Comey of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland outlined the Irish regulator's media education policy which is based on collaboration among all stakeholders and aimed at educating people to better use, understand, analyse and create audio-visual content.
The organisation of these three workshops was supported by the Council of Europe within the framework of its co-operation activities to promote freedom of expression, media independence and plurality in Morocco.