Arab media experts discuss plans to help achieve sustainable-development goals

A group of experts met on Monday to discuss the role of the Arab media in helping to achieve the sustainable-development goals for 2030 adopted by all UN member states in 2015. (SPA)
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Updated 17 December 2019

Arab media experts discuss plans to help achieve sustainable-development goals

  • Discussed the role of the Arab media in helping to achieve the sustainable-development goals for 2030
  • The meeting, the group’s second, was held at the Arab League offices in Cairo

CAIRO: A group of experts met on Monday to discuss the role of the Arab media in helping to achieve the sustainable-development goals for 2030 adopted by all UN member states in 2015.

The meeting, the group’s second, was held at the Arab League offices in Cairo and chaired by Turki Al-Omari, the director of media operations responsible for the Arab League file at the Saudi Ministry of Media.

During his opening speech, he said the participants would discuss the Arab media’s plans relating to sustainable-development goals, with the aim of enhancing engagement by media outlets with issues approved by the Council of Arab Information Ministers in 2017 in response to the diverse needs of member states.

He added that the Arab media is an effective partner in sustainable development because it provides the primary mechanism connecting governments with the people in the region. It therefore has a significant role to play in monitoring, reporting and stimulating discussion about the dangers facing societies and educating the public about development skills and policy.

Al-Omari also stressed the importance to the media of using social-media platforms to contribute to the achievement of sustainable-development goals.

Qais Al-Azzawi, the league’s assistant secretary-general, who oversees media and communications for the organization, stressed the importance of a unified Arab voice abroad, emphasizing the necessity to restructure the Arab media to best reach and engage with a global audience.

He highlighted the important role the Arab media will play in achieving sustainable-development goals in the coming decade, and the need to help identify and assist experts who have the ability to build and develop an Arab discourse the outside world understands, especially in light of the deliberate distortion of Arab and Islamic issues.

Dr. Fawzi Al-Ghuwail, director of The Arab Information Ministers Council’s Technical Secretariat, said that the meeting complements and continues the work started during the first meeting of the team, the recommendations of which included the formation of a subcommittee comprising members of the core team. This smaller group has been assigned the task of setting a three-year timetable for the translation of themes and ideas into a set of activities and programs to enhance the work of the Arab media in the field of sustainable development.

During Monday’s meeting, the subcommittee presented the final draft of a plan it has prepared, taking into account the proposals received from member states, for discussion before submitting it to the 12th regular session of the Executive Office of the Arab Information Ministers Council and then Arab information ministers.


Facebook Journalism Project and ICFJ launch fund to support Lebanon’s news industry

Updated 13 August 2020

Facebook Journalism Project and ICFJ launch fund to support Lebanon’s news industry

  • The new program will support local media outlets

The Facebook Journalism Project, in collaboration with the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), has announced that it will invest $300,000 in a program that aims to support the stabilization and recovery needs of journalists and news organizations in Lebanon affected by the Beirut explosion.

The new program called “Supporting Beirut: Response and Recovery Fund” will assist in supporting local media outlets that have suffered damage to infrastructure and resources.

ICFJ and Facebook will award $150,000 in emergency relief funds to Beirut-based news organizations and journalists directly impacted by the blast and in need of urgent financial support.

The first phase of this program will involve identifying Lebanese news organizations and journalists who require financial support. These journalists and news organizations will then be able to apply for immediate emergency relief grants. ICFJ will award grants to select Beirut-based news organizations and journalists who meet a set criteria.

“Our hearts go out to the people of Lebanon and everyone affected by this immeasurable tragedy,” said Mohamed Omar, news partnerships manager, Middle East and North Africa, at Facebook. “We’ve been getting regular updates from our contacts in Beirut; the damage to the city’s infrastructure, including its many newsrooms, is enormous. In spite of these devastating circumstances, the news industry is working hard, under extraordinary conditions, to keep people informed and updated,” he said.

“We applaud their efforts and are continuously working with our partners to both understand their needs and support them the best we can,” he added.

ICFJ, a non-profit organization focused on raising the quality of journalism worldwide, will mobilize its local networks to implement a two-phase response and recovery initiative for the Beirut crisis.

Sharon Moshavi, ICFJ’s senior vice president for new initiatives, said: “People turn to local journalists for critical information on how to keep their friends, families and communities safe. As the impact of the devastating explosion continues to unfold in Beirut, ICFJ is prepared to work with the Facebook Journalism Project to provide tailored support to Lebanese journalists and news organizations that are providing critical information to a nation in crisis.”

The Facebook Journalism Project and ICFJ will offer additional, deeper support to select Beirut-based news organizations during phase two, depending on the longer-term impacts of the crisis.

Earlier this week, Facebook announced that it would donate more than $2.1 million to local hospitals, medical institutions and NGOs to support relief and recovery efforts, $1 million of which has been matched by its community as part of a Facebook fundraiser.