4M BEIRUT FORUM

Program 4M Beirut 2014

Published in 4M BEIRUT FORUM 2014

 DAY 1 | FRIDAY, 17 OCTOBER 2014 

Online media in the Arab world – Freedoms and Security

REGISTRATION / COFFEE

2:00 - 2:30pm

OFFICIAL INAUGURATION

2:30 - 3:00
  • Ms Angelina Eichhorst, EU Ambassador to Lebanon
  • Ms Gisèle Khoury, President, Samir Kassir Foundation
  • Mr Etienne Fiatte, CFI Managing Director
  • Mr Patrice Paoli, French Ambassador to Lebanon

Introduction to the programme for the 4M Forum, Beirut : Elsa Yazbek, Journalist

Presentation of the day's proceedings : Jean-Michel Duffrene, Media Neighbourhood Project Manager

DEBATE 1 - FREEDOM TO PUBLISH ONLINE CONTENT IN THE ARAB WORLD

3:00 - 4:30pm
Location : MONTAIGNE THEATRE

At the start of the conference Ayman Mhanna will announce the winner of the 2014 Wajih Ajouz Award

The role of social networks and the online media in the recent upheavals in several Arab countries has led some governments in the Arab world to adopt a harder line and to impose further constraints on freedom of expression. In Palestine, there has been a significant increase in numbers of journalists and activists arrested for posting comments on social media over the last three years. In Lebanon, in the absence of any legislation on publishing online, the police and the courts offer contradictory interpretations of the rights of journalists and citizens publishing online. So, what is the current extent of freedom of expression online in the region? What steps can journalists and civil society take to guarantee freedom of expression online?

Moderator: Ayman Mhanna, Executive Director, Samir Kassir Foundation, Lebanon

Panel:

  • Hanan Almgawab, Journalist, Libya
  • Montadhar Kadhem, Journalist, Al Aalem Al Jadeed, Iraq
  • Gino Raidy, blogger, Gino's blog, Lebanon
  • Younes Sabeur Cherif, Director, Envoyés Spéciaux Algériens, Algeria

COFFEE BREAK

4:30 - 5:00pm

WORKSHOP 1 – ONLINE SECURITY: PROTECT YOUR DATA AND YOUR SOURCES!

5:00 - 6:00pm
Location : CONFERENCE HALL

Protecting journalists' sources is not just a question of professional ethics – just like activists and bloggers, journalists also need good IT skills. What technical or IT threats do they face? What steps can you take to protect your computer or mobile devices? What precautions should news providers take when disseminating photos, videos or news reports? Is it possible to remain anonymous online and to circumvent censorship? This workshop presents the techniques and practices that everyone should adopt if they want to protect their data and electronic communications.

Panel:

  • Imad Bazzi, Blogger, Trella blog, Lebanon
  • Grégoire Pouget, head of the New Media desk, Reporters Without Borders, France

WORKSHOP 2 – SECURITY IN THE FIELD: WHEN YOU REALLY NEED PERSONAL PROTECTION

5:00 - 6:00pm
Location : EXHIBITION HALL

Journalists must make every effort to safeguard their physical safety when travelling or living in hostile environments. This workshop looks at the different types of threat and danger facing journalists in the region, demonstrating the importance of good preparation and of minimising foreseeable risks. The focus will be on risk evaluation, drawing up communications plans, and so on. The workshop will identify existing tools for journalists and will open up a discussion of what needs to be done to enhance security.

Panel:

  • Sarah Giaziri, Programme Officer for Middle East and North Africa, Rory Peck, United Kingdom
  • Firas Talhouk, Project Coordinator, SKeyes, Lebanon

WORKSHOP 3 – CAN ONLINE MEDIA HELP CIVIL SOCIETY'S ADVOCACY ROLE?

5:00 - 6:00pm
Location : ROOM E13

Traditional media in the Arab world often have links with political parties and other interest groups and it is no easy matter for civil society organisations to disseminate their message through those media. Social networks, however, have opened up a new field for those wishing to take on an advocacy role, enabling the message to reach new sectors of the population and to achieve international resonance. There is also less of a gulf separating civil society and decision-makers. The workshop will discuss aspects of successful online advocacy campaigns and the adoption of reforms proposed by civil society groups. The issue of collaboration between online media and civil society will also be addressed.

Panel:

  • Rita Chemaly, human rights activist, Lebanon
  • Winner of the 2014 Wajih Ajouz Award, Samir Kassir Foundation

INVITATION TO COCKTAILS AND BUFFET FROM THE FRENCH EMBASSY

6:30pm
Location : RÉSIDENCE DES PINS

 

 DAY 2 | SATURDAY 18 OCTOBER 2014 
Arab online media: professional practices and case studies

DEBATE 2 – TRADITIONAL MEDIA SWITCH OVER TO DIGITAL

9:30 - 11:00am
Location: MONTAIGNE THEATRE

Moderator: Philippe Laloux, Digital Media Manager, Le Soir, Belgium

The conventional written press, radio and television and press agencies have long enjoyed a high profile in their sector, but for some years, now, they have been developing their online business and this has inevitably completely changed journalists' practices and models and drastically reorganised newsreels.
If their pioneering spirit is to endure and they are to create their own springboards for growth, these media must address a number of key issues: new in-house organisations, getting to grips with digital technologies, rethinking the services they offer, and so on. To go digital or to stick with paper – is that the choice facing the media in the modern world? Can the physical and the virtual co-exist?

Panel:

  • Frédéric Bonnard, New Media Director, France Médias Monde, France
  • Ahmad Salman, Assistant General Manager, As-Safir, Lebanon
  • Kamal Djouzi, Managing Editor, El Khabar, Algeria
  • Emilie Sueur, Online Editor-in-chief, L'Orient-Le Jour, Lebanon

COFFEE BREAK

11:00 - 11:30am

CARTE BLANCHE 1 – ONLINE MEDIA AND REVOLUTIONS: INNOVATION, TRENDS, FUTURE

11:30 - 12:15am
Location : MONTAIGNE THEATRE

Journalism is alive and well, and the digital revolution will not sound its death knell. No ... we are witnessing a sea change, journalism's Golden Age: investigative journalism is a growth area, and the widespread availability of new content and formats is contributing to the transparency and accessibility of not only online but also off-line news. The online media are providing new forms of expression and are nourishing political debate. Future innovation in the media must lead to reflection on the value of online news and new forms of media convergence.


Panel:

  • Benoît Thieulin, President, National Digital Council, France

 

CASE STUDY 1 – VISUALIZING PALESTINE

12:15 - 12:45pm
Location : MONTAIGNE THEATRE

VVisualizing Impact (VI) is a laboratory at the intersection of scientific data, technology, and design. VI creates powerful visual tools to highlight critical social issues around the world. Visualizing Palestine, VI's pilot project, has had its infographics published in the Washington Post, the Guardian and Al-Jazeera, amongst others, and has received awards at international level, including the Prix Ars and the BOBs.

Panel:

  • Ahmad Barclay, Project Manager, Visualizing Impact, Lebanon

LUNCH

12:45 - 2:30pm

CASE STUDY 2 – KNOOZ ROOM

2:30 - 3:00pm
Location : MONTAIGNE THEATRE

Knooz Room is a production group working with and for the media ecosystem in North Africa and the Middle East. In particular, it assists content partners and clients in using the internet as a story-telling platform and incorporating story-telling into their work. Knooz Room is a multidisciplinary team covering journalism, design, cinema, illustration, music and the dramatic arts.

Panel:

  • Tamara Qiblawi, Founder, Knooz Room, Lebanon

CARTE BLANCHE 2 – DEMOCRATISING THE INTERNET: A DOUBLE-EDGED SWORD?

3:00 - 3:45pm
Location : MONTAIGNE THEATRE

Recent years have seen the democratisation of the media, with social media and pan-Arab networks genuinely giving greater voice to ordinary citizens. Practically everyone (although not Yemen, Syria or Egypt, where there are still entire sectors of the population without internet access) now has access to news published online and can tell their own stories. In the course of events in Tahrir Square in Cairo, new hope was born – not only the hope that the media would become more democratic, but also hope for society and for the ordinary citizen. Since then, however, here and there, the tendency has been to rein in freedom of speech and digital media freedoms, and also users' freedom. Is the democratisation of the internet a weapon for just a select few?

Panel:

  • Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Journalist, HuffPost live, United States

 

COFFEE BREAK

3:45 - 4:15pm

DISCUSSION 1 – IS THERE SPACE FOR INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISM?

4:15 - 5:15pm
Location : CONFERENCE HALL

Despite a number of successes, investigative journalism in the Arab world is still restricted and limited owing to legal constraints and a lack of expertise on the part of most journalists. This discussion will explain how to work together with readers and civil society to confirm information aimed at writing and disseminating recent events. What uses are there for narrative in investigative journalism and are there ways that can help guarantee that it is heard? Currently, some of those in official positions are using the same online tools as journalists to publicise their message. This is a new challenge for civil society and journalists and we must all be ready to face it.

Panel:

  • Habib Battah, Editor-in-chief, The Beirut Report, Lebanon
  • Walid Mejri, Online editor-in-chief (Arabic), Inkyfada, Tunisia

 

DISCUSSION 2 – DATA JOURNALISM: MAKE NUMBERS YOUR FRIENDS!

4:15 - 5:15pm
Location : EXHIBITION HALL

This is the age of "big data". The amount of data available doubles every two years. What does this mean for journalists? Will computers themselves be able to locate stories in servers? Will the avalanche of information increase demand for articles? Can information be measured? Can the stories be freed from the digi-sphere?
This workshop aims to show how newsrooms can use data to produce better articles more efficiently, and how journalists should prepare for working with data. We present some cracking examples of data journalism in Europe and the Arab world for readers wanting their news access at the speed of light.

Panel:

  • Nicolas Kayser-Bril, Co-founder, Journalism++, France
  • Jazem Halioui, Founder, INNOVA, Tunisia

DISCUSSION 3 – USER EXPERIENCE: THE KEY TO SUCCESS

4:15 - 5:15pm
Location : ROOM E13

DIn today's world, where sales of mobile devices have outstripped sales of computers, and where social networks unceasingly enhance their interface and functionalities, users have come to expect all websites and applications to be not only active but reactive, and to offer user experience. User experience is therefore now essential and has to be taken into account at all stages of website design. This workshop is an opportunity to define user experience and to discuss ways in which to improve your website to suit your target audience's needs.

Panel:

  • Rémi Rousseau, Project Director, La Netscouade, France
  • Ayman Itani, Founder, Think Media Labs, Lebanon

WORKSHOP 4 – PRESENTATION OF ONLINE INVESTIGATIVE TOOLS

5:15 - 6:15pm
Location : EXHIBITION HALL

CHow do you extract true information from the Deep Web and filter out false content? How can you demystify online hoaxes, urban legends and photo montages? Come to this workshop and you will discover a variety of simple online tools designed to help prevent journalists and bloggers falling into common traps and to help them find useful data. You will learn to rapidly appraise the credibility of a website or Twitter account, how to find a deleted website copy, how to check the origin of an image, etc. You will also learn more about the ARIJ (Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism) data-exploration project. The objective: to discover open data, online and off-line, for investigative purposes.

Panel:

  • Hamoud Almahmoud, Researcher and Trainer, ARIJ, Jordan
  • Pascal Riché, Editor-in-chief, Rue89

WORKSHOP 5 – BLOG PLATFORMS: I'M A BLOGGER. ARE YOU?

5:15 - 6:15pm
Location : ROOM E13

Never mind the format – sound, image or written word – online journalism is still journalism. Blogs have allowed the emergence of new players in the information world and the internet is ending the long-standing monopoly over information held by the traditional press, while promoting the appearance of original media projects in any imaginable format. Innovation in practice is breathing dynamic new life into the world of journalism and is repositioning journalists at the very centre of information, in an ecosystem where reader/internaute interaction is of fundamental importance.

Panel:

  • Ziad Maalouf, Journalist, Arablog, France
  • Rafika Bendermel, Editor-in-chief, Tunisie Bondy blog, Tunisia

WORKSHOP 6 – SOCIAL NETWORK: FIND – AND KEEP – YOUR AUDIENCE!

5:15 - 6:15pm
Location : CONFERENCE HALL

Numbers of tweets and sharing on social networks are just as important – or even more important – than the number of hits a website receives. The online media must not ignore social networks: they are in the forefront of news provision. They offer not only a shop window but also an e-reputation. Tools for analysing the social media and assessing popularity prove that managing your social-media presence guarantees the level of visibility that any online media must have. However, you have to know how to use the right tools ...

Panel:

  • Amina Boumazza, Journalist, freelance, Algeria
  • Ramsey George, Co-founder, 7iber, Jordan

DINER SKEYES

19:00 - Mrowa Residence

 DAY 3 | SUNDAY 19 OCTOBER 2014 
Arab online media: ecosystem and business models

DISCUSSION 3 – SOURCES OF FUNDING FOR DIGITAL PROJECTS

9:30 - 10:50am
Location : MONTAIGNE THEATRE

Moderator : David Munir Nabti, Altcity, Lebanon

The situation is improving for start-ups in the Middle East and funding is becoming increasingly available, with projects enjoying potentially greater access to local, regional and even international sources of finance.
This discussion looks at new approaches for start-ups to raise funds, sources of financing for new online businesses, trends in the region and around the world, and ongoing challenges. Do you have any stories to tell about raising funds, whether successfully or unsuccessfully? Come and share them with us.

Panel:

  • Serene Shalan, Portfolio Manager, Oasis500, Jordan
  • Fadi Bizri, Managing Director, Bader Young Entrepreneurs Program, Lebanon
  • Tamara Zakharia, off-line Awareness Manager, Zoomaal, Lebanon
  • Kamel Haddar, Chairman and Managing Director, Algérie Focus, Algeria

PLATFORM PRESENTATION: "24 HOURS IN A NEWSROOM"

10:50 - 11:00am
Location : MONTAIGNE THEATRE

Nour Hemici, Project Manager, CFI

CARTE BLANCHE 3 – INVESTING IN CONTENT/"DIGITAL NEWS" DEBUTS AROUND THE WORLD

11:00 - 11:45am
Location : MONTAIGNE THEATRE

Since the fund was set up, Digital News Ventures has invested in 15 projects spanning nine countries, focusing on pioneer-market businesses. What do innovative start-ups have in common? What do they need to attract media investors' attention? Why do you have to focus on differences in the case of start-ups? What type of project has a greater chance of attracting finance?

Panel:

  • Syed Karim, Investment Manager, Digital News Ventures, United States

DISCUSSION 4 – ECONOMIC MODELS: DREAM TO REALITY

11:45 - 12:45am
Location : CONFERENCE HALL

Every day, the media and journalists attempt to rethink online news. What would you say to a platform where you can browse magazines and newspapers and pay only for the articles you read? The Blendle start-up, launched in April 2014, has created an "iTunes for the written press" encompassing all major publishers in the Netherlands. After four months, they already have over 100 000 users. Another way in which to reinvent news distribution is Transterra Media, an online marketplace with a growing network of over 3000 multimedia journalists focused on seeking out original stories. Come and find out more about these new ways in which to distribute news online.

Panel:

  • Thomas Smolders, Strategist, Blendle, Netherlands
  • Ray Homer, Content Director, Transterra Media, Lebanon

DISCUSSION 5 – IS THERE ANY SUPPORT FOR ENTREPRENEURS?

11:45 - 12:45am
Location : EXHIBITION HALL

LPublic relations are extremely important for entrepreneurs and SMEs. Nowadays, entrepreneurs need to have multiple talents: public relations, social networks, development of links with potential mentors, partners and investors, marketing, etc.
If they are to make sound choices, they also have to keep up-to-date on what is going on in other countries, emerging markets, competition, etc.
Incubators and accelerators might be an excellent resource for identifying assistance and mentors.

Panel:

  • Gilles Babinet, Digital Champion, European Commission, France
  • Hasan Omar, Executive Director, PICTI, Palestine

DISCUSSION 6 – TRADES UNIONS FOR PURE PLAYERS: THE BEGINNINGS OF RECOGNITION

11:45 - 12:45am
Location : ROOM E13

CHow can the monopoly of the traditional press be addressed? How can the media be made independent and profitable? The internet has expanded the range of possibilities on offer for all journalists wanting a range of information rather than a single thought. In recent years, many of them set up online media ("pure players"), but now they are paying the price of under-investment and structural disorganisation. Inhabiting an ecosystem dominated by the world's major research and content-dissemination platforms, and increasingly constrained in legislative terms, those active in the online news world urgently need to organise themselves through collective action based on trades unions or professional organisations. Faced with problems of recognition, is it not time for pure-player journalists to come together to make their voice heard?

Panel:

  • Sabine Torres, Member, Spiil, France
  • Malek Mrowa, Member, press union, Lebanon

LUNCH

12:45 - 2:00pm
 
 

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