For Ms Baria Alamundeen, the media has become more polarized in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. For example, in Lebanon, there are now many more newspapers and TV channels that clearly promote a certain position which affects negatively the overall quality of journalism. At the same time, the journalists are generally not well paid and often receive insufficient training in the region. On the other hand, user-generated content and citizenship media has shaped the media landscape creating new opportunities for all journalists.
Ms Rasha Quandeel emphasised that the Arab Spring has not yet come to an end; the political and social processes from 2011 are still in many ways ongoing. For a committed journalist, there is nothing above questioning and challenging; this is what differentiates journalism from propaganda and public relations. In this profession, trust and credibility are crucial and they can be lost in an instance. At the same time, journalists themselves need to be open about their mistakes to preserve the trust when, evidently, mistakes are made.
For Mr Marco Vicenzino, a major problem for both journalists and policy-makers in both the Middle East and elsewhere is the lack of historical perspective. The 2011 events changed drastically the traditional top-down politics in the region it is still too early to say conclusively how or where this will lead; even more so due to the interests and activities of multiple outside powers in the region. What happened in 2011 was however long due, the question was not if but when and from where the spark would come. While much has changed since then, in many places there is still a lot to do before the people’s desires for representation, accountability and transparency are fully realized.