Plenary Session 5 - Closing Session

Plenary Session 5 was held on Thursday 16 July from 16:00 to 17:00. Professor Jamal Eddine Naji closed the conference with a presentation on Communication and Democracy: local contexts and cultural identity discourses. This video also includes the closing ceremonies and the award of an IAMCR Dedicated Service Award to Dipak De.

Jamal Edine Naji: Communication and Democracy: local contexts and cultural identity discourses

Abstract: The contemporary world map, tragically cracked by unprecedented terrorism and genocides, seems to be drawn again before our eyes from many paradoxes and ambiguities, also unprecedented. Leading these discussions is a communication-related series whose theories and usages never predicted, nor anticipated, such a central and decisive role in the deflagration of the societal, cultural, identical (non-human), and their role in the human violence that accompanies or ensues from them, as we are seeing today. This is particularly relevant in the far, middle and near east, and in Africa, in local contexts that have known colonialist violence and, more or less, a systematic ‘hold-up’ of their memory, culture and identity, as exemplified by South Africa and Morocco. The promise brandished by the 21st Century right before its birth of a ‘civilized jump’ to a humanity reign —economically globalized, morally and culturally universalist, in peaceful and inter-cultural and inter-civilized exchange, thanks to the Copernican revolution of communication and its tools and usages— is vanishing. This promise, however, is dangerously fading with the increasing number of physical, moral, and cultural violence that invades our daily lives. We have reached a point where it is tempting to declare ‘the end of communication,’ or at least this is what has been exposed or sung by the founders of its theories in the past century, the century of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of ‘never again!’

Jamal Eddine Naji is currently the Managing Director of Audiovisual Communication for the Haute autorité de la communication audiovisuelle (HACA). He is also an international expert and consultant for several UN agencies. After receiving his Ph.D. in communication and information studies at the Université de Paris II, he became a professor and researcher at the Institut supérieur de l’information et de la communication (ISIC) in Rabat. Very active in Morocco and in North Africa, he is a founding member of the Organization of Human Rights in Morocco. Formerly a journalist and columnist for the Moroccan media, he specializes in the study of journalism internationally and particularly in North Africa. He is also a board member of the ORBICOM network as well as member of the World and Radio Television Council (WRTVC). He has published, with UNESCO, Media and Civil Society in the Arab World: Training Manual on Community Media (2008), Maghreb Female Journalism (2007), and Citizens and Media, Practical Guide for Dialogue Between Citizens and Media (2006).