Challenges of Independent Media in the MENA Region
Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist and media activist. The former Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, Kuttab is currently the Director-General of Community Media Network (CMN), a not-for-profit media organization dedicated to advancing independent media in the Arab region. CMN is registered in Jordan and Palestine and administers Radio al Balad in Amman, Jordan and www.ammannet.net
Born in Jerusalem in 1955, Kuttab studied in the United States and has been working in journalism since 1980. He began his journalistic career working in the Palestinian print media (Al-Fajr, Al-Quds and Asennara) as well as in the audio-visual field as a documentary producer. He established and presided over the Jerusalem Film Institute in the 1990s. In 1995, he helped establish the Arabic Media Internet Network (AMIN), a censorship-free Arab web site www.amin.org, and between 1996 until 2007 established and headed the Institute of Modern Media at Al-Quds University. In 1997, he moved part-time to Amman for personal reasons and in 2000 established the Arab world’s first internet radio station AmmanNet (www.ammannet.net).
Kuttab is active in media freedom efforts in the Middle East. He is a regular columnist for the Jordan Times, has co-produced a number of award-winning documentaries and children’s television programs, and his op-ed columns have appeared in the NY Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Telegraph and Shimbum Daily in Tokyo. He has received a number of international awards, including the CPJ’s Freedom of Expression Award, the IPI World Press Freedom Hero, PEN Club’s USA Writing Freedom Award, the Leipzig Courage in Freedom Award and the Next Foundation (UK) Peace through Media Award. He is a regular columnist for the Huffington Post, Palestine News Network, Al Arrabiya.Net and the Jordan Times.