Under its Media, Peace and Conflict program (MPC), MAP held its Fifth Annual Peace Journalism Workshop. The 2015 Workshop was supported by GIZ-ZFD as part of the “Hayda Lubnan” Project. The Workshop took place at Crowne Plaza in Hamra, Beirut on November 27th-29th, 2015.
Ms. Vanessa Bassil, Founder, President and Executive Director of MAP, began the first session with an evaluation of Lebanese and Arab media. She also explained how to pinpoint war journalism in the stories of these medias. Furthermore, she stressed on the relationship between politicized media and levels of objectivity. Ms. Bassil then introduced the concept of Peace Journalism and its role in divided societies, teaching participants how to investigate factors leading to conflicts and division and showing them the difference between the root causes of conflict and the factors of diversity and difference.
On the second day, participants were divided into groups and tasked with evaluating media coverage of the violent incidents that took place on May 7th, 2008 in Lebanon. Participants considered the power of words and pictures affecting the track of conflict situations. Their study was based on the terms and expressions used to report the news and the connotations behind each of them. As a result, participants were able to specify the standards and regulations that every peace journalist should refer to when covering newsworthy stories.
The Workshop’s final morning included a session on the issue of Media, Peace and Human Rights (MPHR), highlighting the reality of violence against women in the light of the U.N Security Council Resolution 1325: Women, Peace and Security. Ms. Bassil and Ms. Gertraud Beck, GIZ Representative, then introduced “Hayda Lubnan”, a web platform designed to feature positive stories about Lebanon. Participants were asked to brainstorm story ideas promoting the role of journalism in conflict transformation and its contribution toward achieving real and sustainable peace.
The Fifth Annual Peace Journalism Workshop concluded with an Awards Ceremony during which all attending trainees received certificates of participation.