Al-Arabiya journalist Rima Maktabi honored by Lebanese American University

1 / 2
Rima Maktabi. (AFP)
2 / 2
Updated 17 May 2018
0

Al-Arabiya journalist Rima Maktabi honored by Lebanese American University

  • On accepting her award the journalist said women in the industry face a tough journey
  • Maktabi described as a brave journalist both on the front line of wars and across the table from world leaders

LONDON: Rima Maktabi was awarded the inaugural 2018 Communication Arts Alumni Award last week by the Lebanese American University.
Maktabi, the UK bureau chief at Al-Arabiya News Channel, was chosen for the award in line with selection criteria that gave weight to innovation and women’s empowerment, according to Chairperson of the Communication Arts Department Jad Melki.
The award was presented at an event at Gulbenkian Theatre on Friday, at the conclusion of LAU’s Festival Next, a colorful week of workshops, performances, screenings, and competitions.
“I am proud to belong to this university and its student body,” said Maktabi, who shared valuable advice during her address to students, especially to aspiring female journalists.
“Do not be fooled by sparkling images of women on screen — women in journalism face a long, bumpy road,” she declared, pointing out that despite the massive spread of social media, the same journalistic guiding principles apply: “Accuracy, knowledge and truth are at the core, everything else is just an addition.”


Maktabi began her career as a game show host and weather presenter with Lebanon’s Future TV. She moved into news presenting in 2005 with Al-Arabiya, coming to international prominence in the following year when she covered the 2006 Lebanon war. She moved to CNN in 2010 to present the network’s “Inside the Middle East” program, returning to Al-Arabiya in 2012.
“Rima is a brave journalist — not just at the frontlines of the numerous wars she has reported on, but also across the table from the world leaders she has interviewed,” said Assistant Professor Claudia Kozman, who was also the MC at Friday’s event.
Abdallah Al-Khal, assistant vice president for alumni relations at LAU, joined Melki in presenting the award to Maktabi. After the presentation, the closing ceremony featured a spectacular performance by musical group Fere’et Aa Nota.


Facebook to invest $300 mln in local news initiatives

Updated 15 January 2019
0

Facebook to invest $300 mln in local news initiatives

  • Facebook was partly blamed for the decline of advertising dollars that newspapers are receiving
  • Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of global news partnerships, says the company wants to help local publishers succeed

NEW YORK: Facebook says it is investing $300 million over the next three years in local news programs, partnerships and other initiatives.
The money will go toward reporting grants for local newsrooms, expanding Facebook’s program to help local newsrooms with subscription business models and investing in nonprofits aimed at supporting local news.
The move comes at a difficult time for the news industry, which is facing falling profits and print readership. Facebook, like Google, has also been partly blamed for the ongoing decline in newspapers’ share of advertising dollars as people and advertisers have moved online.
Campbell Brown, Facebook’s head of global news partnerships, acknowledges the company “can’t uninvent the Internet,” but says it wants to work with publishers to help them succeed on and off the social network.
“The industry is going through a massive transition that has been underway for a long time,” she said. “None of us have quite figured out ultimately what the future of journalism is going to look like but we want to be part of helping find a solution.”
Facebook has increased its focus on local news in the past year after starting off 2018 with the announcement that it was generally de-emphasizing news stories and videos in people’s feeds on the social network in favor of posts from their friends.
At the same time, though, the company has been cautiously testing out ways to boost local news stories users are interested in and initiatives to support the broader industry. It launched a feature called “Today In” that shows people local news and information, including missing-person alerts, road closures, crime reports and school announcements, expanding it to hundreds of cities around the US and a few in Australia.
The push to support local news comes as Facebook, which is based in Menlo Park, California, tries to shake off its reputation as a hotbed for misinformation and elections-meddling. The company says users have been asking to see more local content that is relevant to them, including news stories as well as community information such as road closings during a snowstorm.
The $300 million investment includes a $5 million grant to the nonprofit Pulitzer Center to launch “Bringing Stories Home,” a fund that will provide local US newsrooms with reporting grants to support coverage of local issues. There’s also a $2 million investment in Report for America as part of a partnership aiming to place 1,000 journalists in local newsrooms across the country over the next five years.
The idea behind the investments, Brown said, is to look “holistically at how a given publisher can define a business model. Facebook can’t be the only answer, the only solution — we don’t want the publisher to be dependent on Facebook.”
Fran Wills, CEO of the Local Media Consortium, which is receiving $1 million together with the Local Media Association to help their member newsrooms develop new revenue streams, said she is optimistic the investment will help.
“I think they are recognizing that trusted, credible content is of benefit not only to local publishers but to them,” she said.