“Perceptions and practices of media regarding the world of prison’s” Jamal Eddine Naji’s conference at the Oudaya Prison in Marrakesh

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The Oudaya prison in Marrakesh welcomed an interdisciplinary group of experts, whom dictated a series of conferences concerning the fourth edition of the « Spring University ». Facing an audience composed of 200 prisoners, women and men, holders of bachelor’s degrees, master or even Doctorates from this institution, the General Manager of the High Autority for Audiovisual Communication of Marrakesh (HACA), and president of the Network of UNESCO Chairs in Communication ORBICOM, Jamal Eddine Naji, were in charge to open this event with an intervention about the perceptions and practices of media regarding the prison world. Mister Naji highlighted the abyss existing between the media’s world and the prison reality, a breach born from the ignorance that the media has of prison life, and the speculations made a priori, whose consequences are stigmatization, stereotypying, and discrimination. These practices constitute a flagrant violation of fundamental rights such as the right to privacy, the right to integrity of identity, the right to forgiveness and a respectable reinsertion, as well as a violation of the rights of the relatives, among others. These condamnables practices are spreading ever more in the media. The General Manager of HACA underlined the honest, pertinent character of the journalist as a bearer of the respect of the rights, and reminded the mission of the journalist as a world’s discoverer, investigator of newness, and transmitter of news to the public. The media must know the prison world, the shame, misadventures, fights, expectations, and the reinsertion plan that the prisioners have. Mister Naji touched upon the most critical point : the relation between the prison/prisoner and the society. He recalled two masterpieces of the worldwide literature : « The miserables » by Victor Hugo, and « The Butterfly » by Henry Charrière, to illustrate the importance of miserables » by Victor Hugo, and « The Butterfly » by Henry Charrière, to illustrate the importance of literature and film in reflecting about concerns that also pertain to sociology and anthropology. He
asked himself : how can the journalist contribute to « living together », and foster tolerance, forgiveness, reinsertion, demarginalization of prisons and prisoners, in, a world where the social
networks have no deontology or media rule? After his intervention of approximately one hour, Jamal Eddine Naji intermingled with the assistants, who shared their experiences and the frustrations embedded in their incapacity to answer to the injustices spread by media. During two days, the writer Abdelkader Chaoui, the jurist Driss Belmahi and the human rights expert
Habib Belkouch, continued this series of conferences.