NNA – Within the framework of underway preparations for the upcoming parliamentary elections, Minister of Information Ziad Al-Makari held a meeting on Saturday with representatives of the ‘National News Agency’ in the Akkar and North governorates at the Independence Hall in Tripoli’s Serail, in presence of the Editors Syndicate Deputy Head, Ghassan Rifi.
Addressing the attendees, Al-Makari stressed on media liberties at all times, just as media freedom is safeguarded during the parliamentary elections.
"Others may, for example, call for media controls, but I consider that what is required is freedom of the media and commitment to legally and morally responsible freedom," he said.
"We in Lebanon, unfortunately, build institutions and establish bodies which, by losing their role, lose their effectiveness, and this is what is happening with the supervisory body, whose President, Judge Nadim Abdel-Malik, revealed during a meeting with media representatives and the Editors, Press and News Websites’ Syndicates, that he filed more than forty complaints that remained pending...From here, we see that Lebanon suffers from failure to implement laws and carry out court rulings, which is a huge problem,” Al-Makari went on.
"We are looking forward to the elections in which the media will play a pivotal role, and this is essential, and we realize that the ‘National News Agency’ is the backbone of this media, and so is Tele-Liban,” the Information Minister underlined, hoping for cooperation with friendly countries and donor institutions to equip and develop them.
“We understand the dedication and relentless efforts of everyone working at the National News Agency and the Ministry of Information, amidst the difficult conditions they are experiencing in Beirut and various regions in the country, and we value their determination to pursue their professional work,” assured Al-Makari.
“Today I am among you to listen to your demands and problems, and I hope that I will succeed in providing assistance as much as possible,” he said.
Pointing to Pope Francis' expected visit to Lebanon, Al-Makari said a lot is pinned on the significant role of the National News Agency's soldiers in the capital and various regions to cover this historical event, stressing that "recording views from all regions of Lebanon reflects media vitality and gives Lebanon a bright image abroad."
Today’s meeting was a chance for the Information Minister to listen to the demands of NNA’s representatives in the areas of Tripoli, Minnieh, Batroun, Koura, Bcharre, Zgharta, and Akkar, promising to "follow-up on their matters and tend to their needs within the available capabilities," while thanking them all for their "efforts and sacrifices."