Empowering refugees through media and exploring media viability strategies in Lebanon. This is the aim of a DW Akademie Project, which Media | Competence | International evaluated in 2019.
Lebanon - a country of contrasts. Leveling them is a challenge for media assistance projects, too. (Foto: J.Pies)
Lebanon has the most free, diverse and active media landscape in the Arab Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Yet, nearly all outlets depend on the patronage of political parties, wealthy individuals, or foreign powers that influence strongly the political orientation of the respective coverage. In addition to these political constraints, the Lebanese media market – similar to most media markets in the region – suffers from a precarious financial situation.
At the same time, Lebanon now has the world’s highest proportion of displaced people. Syrian and Palestinian refugees face the gamut of official and societal discrimination, occasional violence and economic hardships. The presence of refugees is seen as a problem among many Lebanese, with anxieties stoked by political slogans, media scare stories that promote fear and perceived injustice.
This is in brief the context that informs the DW Akademie’s project in Lebanon, which Media | Competence | International evaluated in 2019. The aim of the project is, to empower refugees through media for social participation and exploring media viability strategies for newly established media organizations. M|C|I provided a summative and formative assessment of the project results, documented learning experiences and compiled recommendations for the subsequent project period. One important outcome of the project is the Facebook page "Campji", for which young citizen journalists in the refugee camp "Shatila" in Beirut produce their stories and show the world their lives and perspectives.