Media development organisations
A number of local and international organisations offer training programs in which journalists and news corporations participate. The Amman-based Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) was formed in early 2005 to promote investigative journalism in Arab newsrooms and support independent, quality, professional journalism. It is a regional organisation that provides trainings and media coaching to journalists all over the Arab world. Besides this, it supports and oversees journalists and editors to conceive an idea, research, write, edit and publish or broadcast professional investigative journalism reports.
Thomson Foundation has currently five training projects for media and public communication practitioners in Lebanon to help them improve engagement with their audiences. The foundation leads also a consortium (that includes: Action Global, European Journalism Centre, Free Press Unlimited, France Médias Monde, Ipsos Mori and Particip) to implement the Project OPEN Media Hub funded by the European Union Programme OPEN Neighbourhood. To cope with the recent lockdown measures adopted by the Lebanese government to prevent the spread of the Covid-19, Thomson Foundation continued its activities of training and education through online webinars and meetings. Other platforms offer journalism courses and trainings online, mostly from private institutions.
The Lebanese May Chidiac Foundation, launched by the eponymous May Chidiac, is dedicated to training, research, and education aimed at graduates of media departments who require practical skills to find work opportunities. Its affiliated Media Institute aims to bridge the gap between academia and the media industry, providing students and professionals technical facilities and training programs in order to improve their competencies and competitiveness.
Founded in 2008, Social Media Exchange (SMEX) is a registered Lebanese NGO that conducts training, research and advocacy on strategic communications and human rights in the digital world. They organise training courses (online and offline) and learning events, they also produce and localise manuals, guides and researches on Internet policy and digital rights (in English and in Arabic), in partnership with other media development organisations and companies worldwide. With the financial support of the Netherlands-based development aid organisation Hivos, SMEX has conceptualised and led the creation of Tasharuk (Collaboration, in Arabic), a platform in three languages (English, Arabic and Persian) developed to provide citizen journalists with resources and materials on the use of digital and social technologies. SMEX is focused also advocated for clearer and more accountable reforms in the Media Law, attempting to highlight the controversies and the flaws of the existing regulations (the more recent adopted in 2018). It advocates as well for a more accountable role of the ministries and authorities in the media sector, most notably on the matters of political interference and of violation of expression and speech freedom.