IPJ helps IPI promote freedom and celebrate 10th anniversary in Vienna

Austrian President Thomas Klestil discussing press freedom with IPJ director Magda Abu-Fadil as IPI director Johann Fritz looks on.

Magda Abu-Fadil reported on press freedom in Lebanon.

Participants picked up copies of IPJ's "Professional Ethics, Media Legislation & Freedom of Expression in Lebanon" conference proceedings on display in Vienna.

Institute for Professional Journalists (IPJ) director Magda Abu-Fadil reported on press freedom in Lebanon at a Vienna conference that drew media experts from around the world.

“Visions for the Future of Communications” was the theme of an anniversary marking the 10 years of the International Press Institute (IPI) having moved its headquarters to Vienna from London.

Abu-Fadil was the only participant from an Arab country at the November 20-24, 2002 gathering. She spoke of the closure of Murr Television (MTV) in Lebanon and briefed her colleagues on the country's print and broadcast media laws.

The five-day program was chock-full of activities focusing on press freedom worldwide and featured a stellar array of speakers representing a global network of editors, media executives, leading journalists, members of NGOs and academics.

In addition to the serious work undertaken at the event, IPI director Johann Fritz and his very able staff had organized a series of memorable events for participants, including a meeting with Austrian President Thomas Klestil, followed by a reception at the once imperial Hofburg Palace, dinner with Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner at the Museum of Fine Arts and lunch with Parliamentary Speaker Heinz Fischer.

Participants were also treated to a series of private tours of imperial palaces and musical programs.

IPJ and IPI have been partners, along with the Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific & Cultural Organization, in organizing two conferences at the Lebanese American University. The first in May 2001 was entitled “Freedom of Expression & the Media in Lebanon.” The second in March 2002 was called “Professional Ethics, Media Legislation & Freedom of Expression in Lebanon.”

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