MDI’s Lebanese Partner Visits London for a Study Tour on Media & Diversity Print

Dates: 3 – 6 June 2013

Countries: UK, Lebanon

bbc snip2 (2)A group of seven reporters and media experts from Lebanon visited London aiming to exchange expertise on inclusive practices in British media institutions and universities.

On the first day, the Lebanese delegation met the Head of Diversity at the BBC, Amanda Rice, as well as the Guardian’s Head of Diversity, Yasir Mirza and the director of Channel 4 News, Dorothy Byrne.

The delegation from Lebanon had the opportunity to learn the three media organisations’ approach to diversity, in particular in two areas: content and employees.

“For example they learnt BBC’s policy related to recruitment which ensures that they get staff from different backgrounds; Channel 4’s brave and courageous approach when they report on diversity issues; and the Guardian’s structure whose principle is not about making profit but about a responsibility to society”, explained MDI’s  Project Manager, Farid Littleproud.

The Lebanese delegation was formed by journalists, such as the senior reporter at LBCI television, Hoda Chedid, and the news bulletin producer and senior reporter at Al Jadeed, Malek Charif; media professors at Lebanese University, Ali Rammal  and Geries Sadaka; and Maharat Foundation team members in Lebanon, Roula Mikhael, Aline Farah and Layal Bahnam.

The meetings with British media helped Malek Charif to get a lot of ideas on how to make a media organisation more socially responsible, in particular in this period when his TV channel, Al Jadeed, is working on how to restructure its newsroom and how to produce a more diverse content.

ch4 snipDuring the study tour in London, the Lebanese group also met with UK academics and journalists to debate in detail on how to teach students about media & diversity at universities.

“From this meeting, they learnt to approach diversity in a more practical way. Ali Rammal expressed that this training will help him to develop his curriculum at Lebanese University”, affirmed MDI's  project manager, Farid Littleproud.

This study tour is a part of the project “Towards an Inclusive and Responsible Media in Lebanon”, set up in April by MDI and its Lebanese partner Maharat Foundation, an organisation working on building a more democratic society through freedom of expression.

The overall objective of the project is to encourage responsible media coverage of diversity, reduce tensions and promote peace through an inclusive and responsible media in Lebanon.

As part of the programme, MDI and Maharat Foundation are working to develop a module regarding inclusive and responsible reporting on diversity to be adopted byLebanese univeristies. In addition, a ‘new model of journalism’ website with up to 40 stories will be produced by students who have tested the inclusive journalism curriculum.