Journalists discuss latest Peace Building in Lebanon joint news supplement
The UNDP "Peace Building in Lebanon" project published the fourth joint news supplement, funded by Japan, and distributed with both Annahar and Assafir newspapers on Friday 30th of 2014. In this issue, journalists from different media outlets conveyed positive messages and showed a brighter image than the one circulated in different media outlets on the repercussions of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon.
As a follow up to the release of the supplement, the project organized a discussion session on Tuesday 3rd of June that gathered journalists who wrote in this issue to discuss their articles. The session was also meant to be an interactive one, inviting new ideas, constructive criticism, and suggestions for future supplements.
“Initially, I thought writing for the supplement would be a challenge because of all the chaos and pre-existing negativity in the media, but now I see the supplement as a silver lining that could extract positive messages that need to be relayed”, noted Assafir journalist Saada Allaw in the discussion session, contributing to the feedback on the supplement. Sharing Allaw's opinion, journalist Rayan Majed from Now website, also saw the supplement as an opportunity to optimistically portray the presence of the displaced Syrians particularly in Achrafieh.
Annahar journalist, Michel Hallak, examines how the marriages between Syrian refugees and Lebanese people of Akkar alleviated tensions and created a more comfortable environment for the Syrians. The article written in the supplement dives deeper into the topic and portrays it realistically and positively through interviews and observation.
Boumadiane Sahili, a journalist from Hermel, closed the panel discussion with a very real and personal account of his experience as a resident of Hermel. The emotional undertones in his article as well as discussion session made it clear how important it was to have a local's voice in the supplement.
The supplement was generally met with a lot of positive feedback, and of course some constructive criticism on how the next issues could be improved. Many regarded the supplement as a breakthrough that could really encourage change with awareness.
Until date, the UNDP Peace Building project issued four supplements since 2012.
The first supplement issued in December 2012 tackled the "connectors" and "dividers" in the country. The second supplement, which was issued in March 2013, focused on national civil campaigns, knowing the important role of the Lebanese civil society on both local and national levels
As for the third supplements, issued in May 2013, it tackled the social, economic, cultural, and educational repercussions of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon, and highlighted the initiatives undertaken by the Lebanese to help Syrian refugees, as well as the social and cultural contributions brought by the refugees.
136,000 copies of these supplements were distributed with Annahar and Assafir newspapers and were advertised on their websites and social networking sites, the UNDP website, the National News Agency website, and Almodon electronic newspaper. 2,000 copies were also distributed through Liban Post to all ministries, embassies, municipalities, media outlets, universities, and non-governmental organizations in Lebanon.
The latest issue- that was the focus of the discussion session- can be viewed in the following link