In partnership with the Facebook Journalism Project, ICFJ administered a program in 2020 to support the stabilization and recovery needs of journalists and news organizations in Lebanon affected by the Beirut explosion on August 4, 2020. This initiative provided assistance for getting local news outlets that suffered damage to infrastructure and resources back on their feet. This Fall ICFJ will administer the second phase of the program with aim to enable Lebanese newsrooms to boost their media sustainability and audience engagement strategies.
About the program
In its second phase, the program will provide training on media sustainability and audience engagement tracks, three months one-on-one mentorship, as well as emergency funds of up to $10,000 for media organizations in Lebanon.
The program includes the following core components:
- An intensive four-week online course that offers a combination of subject matter and technical training on media sustainability and audience engagement. The aim is to help newsrooms which are producing high-quality news information improve the reach of their work. Also, equip them with skills on how to create successful revenue streams.
- The media experts who will lead the online course will also be available for "office hours" over four weeks to meet the needs of the participating newsrooms.
- After participating newsrooms complete the training, they will be asked to apply for an emergency fund. About six media organizations will receive the emergency fund as well as dedicated three-month mentorship and guidance from media experts that will help newsrooms refine their business strategies.
ICFJ will follow these criteria to identify and select recipients:
- Based in Lebanon
- Lebanese news organization that primarily serves Lebanese audiences
- Damaged as a direct result of the August 4 explosion
- Have been in operation for at least two years
- Employ at least five journalists
- Have an online presence
- Must have demonstrated a journalistic record
In addition to the criteria mentioned above, news organizations will only be eligible for emergency funds once vetted and cleared through the Excluded Parties List System, a U.S. government database that identifies names and vendors that are sanctioned, unallowed, or otherwise disqualified from receiving funding.