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Media Innovation in Lebanon: M4P conference

In a two-days conference, a group of international researchers, journalists, developers and marketing experts exchanged on media innovations in peace-oriented journalism. Judith Pies was among them.

Foto by: Media Lab Bayern

The conference was organized by the Media for Peace (M4P) project on December 13th to 14th, 2023 in Beirut, Lebanon. The first day offered academic discussions on Lebanon specific questions such as: "What is the changing role of media and democracy in Lebanon?" and "Which role do social media play for peacebuilding in Lebanon?"

Judith Pies conceptualized and chaired a hands-on workshop on media innovations in peace-oriented journalism. This workshop brought together media practitioners, media NGOs and experts on media innovation and on peace journalism to jointly exchange and discuss ideas on how to support media in Lebanon and to contribute to peacebuilding and reconciliation. The assumption behind the panel was, that a media landscape with a strong innovation culture is more robust to address challenges in times of conflicts, political gridlock or economic crisis.

First, Maharat Foundation presented their findings on the innovation landscape for the media sector in Lebanon and discussed challenging and enabling factors. Following that, Media Association for Peace (MAP) gave an overview on already existing peace journalism activities in Lebanon. Samir Kassir Foundation reminded us of the importance of safety issues while working on digital innovations. These inputs were followed by a hands-on workshop, in which Masiar Nashat from the Rainmaker Tribe introduced innovation mehtods such as design thinking to develop solutions for peace-oriented journalism.

While the first day focused mainly on Lebanon, the second day broadened the perspective to settings with ongoing and post-war conflicts in general. A group of ten international M4P fellows pitched their ideas on how to make journalism more conflict sensitive. The pitch was organized by the Media Lab Bayern and conference participants were invited to discuss the ideas, that in a next step shall be further develop to come-up with a prototypical, viable product.


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