Lebanon-based Media Association for Peace (MAP) NGO, in collaboration with the UN Information Centre in Beirut (UNIC Beirut), organized the 6th Annual Peace Journalism Workshop 2017 under the theme of the UN Campaign “Together: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”. The three-day workshop, organized in partnership with the U.S. Institute for Peace on 17-19 March 2017, was entitled: “Reporting on Syrian Refugees in Lebanon”.
At the opening session, MAP Founder, President and Executive Director, Vanessa Bassil, gave a detailed explanation about the workshop’s program and interactive sessions. She said the purpose behind this extensive training is to introduce the concept of Peace Journalism to Lebanese and Syrian media students and young journalists. It also provides them with the necessary knowledge, tools and journalistic skills to cover the Syrian refugee crisis. Bassil added that the workshop will result in an online magazine that includes articles about Syrian refugees by the participants, as well as the production of a documentary on Syrian refugees.
For her part, Maryam Sleiman from UNIC Beirut, gave an overview about the “Together” campaign that brings 193 member countries of the United Nations, the private sector, civil society and academic and media institutions in a global partnership in support of non-discrimination, acceptance of others and transforming fear of refugees into hope. Sleiman called on all participants to further highlight in their stories the common benefits of host communities and refugees, and avoid any rhetoric that promotes fear of refugees and migrants in the hearts of readers, mainly the Lebanese ones.
The training sessions tackled the issue of the Syrian refugee crisis in local and international legislations, principles, characteristics and advantages of peace journalism, humanitarian journalism, the rhetoric of hatred and the role of media in confronting or consecrating violence, field coverage, techniques of filming a documentary and respecting the privacy of refugees, women’s issues and writing feature stories, as well as other topics.
The partnership aims at promoting the role of media in advocating for peace, and contributing to the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16: “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”. The partnership also falls under SDG 17: “Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development”, which calls for similar partnerships to secure successful implementation of Agenda 2030 on sustainable development, adopted by the UN last September.
For more information about “Together” campaign, you can visit the official website: https://together.un.org/