The Doha Centre for Media Freedom is relaunching, the organization has announced through Twitter.
Expect a special announcement next week after Its new director arrives in Qatar, organizers told Doha News.
The center, one of Sheikha Mozah’s projects, was founded in 2008, but less than a year later, its first director, Robert Ménard left, citing clashes with the Qatari government.
“The centre has been suffocated. We no longer have either the freedom or the resources to do our work,” said Ménard, the centre’s director-general and founder of Reporters Without Borders. He and three others – the centre’s heads of assistance, research and communications – announced their resignations in June 2009.
The new director will not have much time to settle in. The relaunching of the centre inevitably raises questions about Qatar’s own dedication to media freedom.
Earlier this month, Qatar arrested a local blogger, the first such case in the country. Many journalists are also disappointed in a highly circulated draft of a promised media law, which critics say does not go far enough to protect press freedom here.
However, the centre’s relaunch could be good for Qatar, pushing it to expand media freedom as it draws international attention on how journalism works here.
What do you guys think of the centre’s relaunch?