WAN-IFRA

A publication of the World Editors Forum

Date

Tue - 23.01.2018


Arab World

Welad El Balad
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Fatemah Farag, Executive Editor of Welab El Balad Media Services, has introduced a new kind of media in Egypt: hyperlocal weekly papers that are accountable to their readership and allow their readers to be part of the editorial process.

Last year’s revolution unleashed tremendous energy that led to a flood of political debate. “You now can’t go anywhere without being engaged in political debate,” she said, in contrast to the apathy and lack of concern under the former government. She was speaking at the 19th World Editors Forum in Kiev last week.

Traditional news is in deep crisis, Farag said, as years of malpractice have come to the fore. And the provinces, which had for many years been marginalized in national news, took centre stage.

All these factors have led to an explosion of new initiatives, from new publications to graffiti, to puppet shows – any way to express ideas.

Welab El Balad’s response has been to produce very local, community-based newspapers with a low cost business model. A print product is essential, Farag said: “what is legitimate, what is credible, is print.”

The three pillars of journalism that the papers aim to uphold are respect for truth, respect for the citizen and respect for humanity.

The company produces four weekly papers, in four different communities across Egypt:

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-09-12 19:13

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“Social media is not just transforming newsrooms – it’s transforming the very fabric of society,” says Riyaad Minty, Head of Social Media for Al Jazeera. “We are no longer the gate-keepers, and we need to understand this shift so as to make sense of it.”

“News organisations do not break the news any more: people break the news,” he says: the new news wires are social networks. When Minty heard that Osama Bin Laden had died, he immediately went to Twitter, and found an account of someone close to the site who was live-tweeting the raid. This was a totally different experience to turning on a TV.

Rather than become overwhelmed by this crisis of relevance, Minty said news organisations need to think, “How do we then effectively access this breaking news, package it and distribute it?” He was speaking at last week's World Editors Forum in Kiev.

In the future, we will see more and more information online, said Minty, and with this comes more noise, and more disinformation. Context becomes more and more crucial, and that is where news organisations thrive: Twitter can say what’s happening now, but not why.

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-09-11 15:13

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The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) is pleased to invite newspaper and online media managers and editors from select countries in South East Asia and Middle East & North Africa to apply for a groundbreaking new professional development programme.

The WAN-IFRA Media Professionals Programme (MPP) provides mid-level media professionals from the commercial and editorial side of newspapers and online media with personalised, high-impact leadership development opportunities. It equips them with sustainable strategies, skills and support networks to advance their careers and contribute to the growth of financially viable and editorially strong media enterprises in the region.

Media professionals from the following countries are encouraged to apply: Cambodia, Myanmar & Vietnam (SEA programme) and Egypt, Libya & Tunisia (MENA programme).

Successful applicants will benefit from the following development opportunities as part of the programme:

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-05-23 09:29

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Inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt, the people of Bahrain took to the streets on 14 February, 2011 demanding change. More than a year after protests began on Pearl Roundabout, the epicentre of the Bahraini revolution, many argue that little has changed for the better. For the press, this sentiment is echoed most acutely.

A number of organisations have conducted missions and produced reports that investigate the state of freedom of expression in Bahrain, only to come up with one common result; things are getting worse. Journalists and human rights defenders have faced military trials, life imprisonment, torture, harassment, and in some cases even death whilst in the custody of the Bahraini authorities.

Author

Farah Wael

Date

2012-03-30 11:32

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The Committee to Protect Journalists reported yesterday that two British journalists of Algerian origin were killed by Syrian forces in Darkoush on Monday, while a third was wounded.

The independent journalists, identified as Naseem Intriri and Walid Bledi, were in the process of filming a documentary about Syrians’ escape from the conflict to neighboring Turkey, the article said. The Syrian army fired at the home where the three journalists and other Syrian activists were seeking refuge, the article said.

Intiri and Bledi initially fled for safety, but were shot upon returning to the house to get equipment, the article said.

After tentatively reporting yesterday that the Syrian Revolution General Commission said two journalists were killed, The Guardian recently confirmed reports of the shooting, citing the CPJ and Spanish newspaper El Mundo.

The British Foreign Office is currently investigating reports of the attack, according to journalism.co.uk.

Author

Gianna Walton

Date

2012-03-28 16:58

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"It's impossible to have editorial freedom without financial independence," said Aboubakr Jamai, founder and editor of Moroccan weekly magazine Le Journal Hebdomadaire, opening the business-focused session of the 5th Arab Free Press Forum, which also included Jacek Utko of Bonnier Business Press.

Many obstacles to successful news publication in the Arab World are receding, said Mohammed Alayyan, founder and publisher of Al-Ghad Daily, the first independent paper in Jordan, and the Alwasweet Weekly Newspaper.

In Tunisia, for example, it used to be very hard to get a licence to publish from the Ministry of Information. It was also difficult to find investors because many businessmen were put off by the tight controls on media properties, and the government favoured some institutions when it came to advertising and subscriptions. Since the uprisings, these problems are clearly less relevant.

So far, the Arab uprisings have not had a particularly positive effect on the financial side of the industry, said Alayyan, pointing out that advertising was down in Egypt in 2011. But in the long term, he believes that the situation will improve, as long as that governments do not own media companies. Ministries of Information should not exist, he said, as they are only a hindrance.

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newspaper/2012/01/have_priorities_changed_for_arab_media_b.php

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-01-26 12:16

Text: 

How can the media regain public trust as a credible source of news, participants contemplated at the 5th Arab Free Press Forum in Tunis. After years of propaganda, it is difficult for newly-free publications in the Arab World to establish themselves as trustworthy sources of news, particularly when facing competition from blogs and social media.

Hussam Eddin Muhammed, columnist for Palestinian-owned, London-based paper Al-Quds al-Arabi, said that respecting the reader and the viewer is very important. There are both journalists who risk their lives to bring accurate news to the public, and then there are media that just offer incorrect news.

Anette Novak, former editor-in-chief of Swedish daily Norran, believes that transparency is absolutely essential for credibility. This means giving the readers background information that you might not immediately think to give, and working with them in an open way. Clearly the journalists in the newsroom still have an important position, but if the crowd is working with the publication, it will both produce better journalism and more trust.

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newsrooms_and_journalism/2012/01/the_road_to_credibility_in_the_arab_worl.php

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-01-24 12:27

Text: 

by Larry Kilman

With repression of Arab media lifted in some countries following the 'Arab Spring' revolutions and reforms, what needs to be done to develop a professional independent press in the region?

That was the question posed during a panel discussion Monday at the Arab Free Press Forum in Tunis, and the answer is - quite a lot of things.

Of course there is journalism training, but the needs go far beyond reporting. The challenge is how to turn media into commercial ventures.

"Journalists often don't have proper management experience or marketing experience," said Hafez al-Bukhari, President of the Yemen Polling Centre.

"A challenge in Yemen and equally in some other Arab countries, is how can media activity become a business activity? We need real, appropriate training for media production and management, it is different from traditional training workshops for journalists," he said.

Investment is another challenge, the panellists agreed. And advertising is not regulated by market conditions but by relationships and interests.

No matter how Arab media develops, they must have patience, because development doesn't happen overnight, said Tatiana Repkova, Founder and Director of the Media Managers Club.

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Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-01-24 12:15

Text: 

Has the media played a significant role in inciting the public to protest in the Arab World? Participants in the first session of the 2012 Arab Free Press Forum in Tunis discussed whether the media is a mirror that reflects peoples ideas, as Al Jazeera English senior political analyst Marwan Bishara suggested, or whether it works more actively.

Raghida Dergham, senior diplomatic correspondent for Al Hayat, although emphasizing that as she lives in New York she doesn't have a complete picture of media on the ground, said that she believes some satellite channels did not distinguish between covering the events and inciting people to engage in revolution.

Mohamed El Dahshan, Egyptian economist and writer, stressed the importance of considering different types of media that different people follow. Some local media which are under government authority have proved an obstacle to change and threatened protesters. As one of the audience noted, media will always be a hindrance if they are not telling the truth.

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WEF ID: 
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WEF URL: 
newsrooms_and_journalism/2012/01/the_media_help_or_hindrance_to_revolutio.php

Author

Emma Goodman

Date

2012-01-23 18:56

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The World Editors Forum is the organization within the World Association of Newspapers devoted to newspaper editors worldwide. The Editors Weblog (www.editorsweblog.org), launched in January 2004, is a WEF initiative designed to facilitate the diffusion of information relevant to newspapers and their editors.


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