Its aim is to provide tailored guidance to new, independent and innovative online media providers with significant potential for development

4M machrek cfi beyrouth2013

On 6 December 2013, 4M Mashreq was officially launched in Beirut, with the aim of providing tailored guidance to new independent and innovative online news media which have a high potential for development.

The mission of 4M Mashreq is to identify new players in the online news sector in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Palestine and to help them with their editorial, technical and financial development.
The project is being led by CFI, the French media cooperation agency, in partnership with Alt City (an enterprise facilitation and support organisation in Lebanon), Skeyes (Fondation Samir Kassir) and the Institut Français in Beyrouth.


Guidance over a period of several months

Following a call for applications from existing organisations and the selection of projects, five incubator sessions will be held in 2014 at Alt City’s offices in Beirut. During these sessions, the projects will be supervised and developed with one-to-one coaching by international experts. The sessions will focus particularly on developing groundbreaking audio, video and data content, finding technical solutions, business models, and team leadership.

The most promising projects selected for 4M Mashreq will also be able to benefit from financial support under the European "Media and Culture" programme (terms and conditions apply).

 Between each session, participants will be supervised by two teaching coordinators, Julien Le Bot (journalist and founder of the Yakwala news platform) and David Munir Nabti of Alt City. The best media projects developed will be presented at the 4M Mashreq Forum to be held in November 2014.

To mark the official launch of 4M Mashreq and the call for projects, CFI is organising a one-day professional conference in Beirut on 6 December, on the theme of “New Media: the Crucibles of Innovation”.

4M machrek cfi beyrouth

Provisional timetable for 4M Mashreq:

  • 21 to 26 April: session 1
  • 16 to 21 June: session 2
  • 4 to 9 August: session 3
  • 8 to 13 September: session 4
  • October 2014 : session 5, followed by 4M Forum Beirut

4M Mashreq call for applications

4M Mashreq call for applications (arabic version)

4M Mashreq: 10 projects selected!

In December 2013, CFI launched its call for applications for the 4M Mashreq programme, which aims to support emerging online news media organisations showing significant potential for development in the Mashreq region, consisting of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Iraq.

Ten of the applications received have been selected by the panel, which met for its final deliberations in Beirut last week.

The training programme is set to begin on 21 April 2014, and will take the form of 5 one-week incubator sessions in Beirut, during which project teams will be coached by international experts. It will focus on 3 main topics: content management and ergonomics, team structuring, and business planning.


The successful applicants are:

Frame Beirut (Lebanon):
Frame Beirut is a project for a citizen-led documentation media platform that uses photography to inspire citizens to give their own personal accounts about the city and its people, and initiate discussions concerning the strategic issues relevant to Beirut and beyond.

Zamakan (Lebanon):
Zamakan is a new form of online comic magazine dedicated to the creation, serialisation and distribution of modern Arabic picture stories that portray the harsh realities of life in the Middle East.

Marshallahnews (Lebanon):
Marshallahnews is a collective and independent online platform on which some of the lesser-told stories about urban life in the Arab world, Turkey and Iran can be shared.

Lebanese Media Monitor (Lebanon):
Lebanese Media Monitor aims to create an interactive platform on which people can post reports about professional media coverage and highlight instances of poor journalism ethics in the Lebanese media industry.

Beirut Report (Lebanon):
Beirut Report is a news website comprising 6 thematically based editorial desks. The site specialises in investigative journalism and carries out in-depth enquiries into pressing national issues.

Al Aalem Al Jadeed (Iraq):
Al Aalem Al Jadeed is a newspaper that is “unrestrained by any political or religious beliefs or the influence of its owners”. This independence allows the newspaper to stand out in the Iraqi media landscape.

Palestine News Network (Palestine):
Palestine News Network is an independent media outlet offering information and production services to both the local Palestinian and international populations. The network operates six online community radio stations that are aimed at the younger generations living in marginalised areas in the West Bank and Gaza.

Watania (Palestine):
Watania’s website reports on the latest events taking place in Palestinian territories. It chiefly covers statements made by politicians and human rights organisations, as well as providing daily live videos and analytical articles.

Syria Untold (Syria):
Syria Untold is a website that compiles content relating to civil disobedience, non-violent movements and creative resistance in Syria. It publicises the work being carried out by other websites, social networks and groups of activists.

Knooz Room (Liban):
Knooz Room is a digital story-telling project from the Middle East that offers surprising insight and an alternative portal of knowledge about the Middle East. Stories are powered by writers, musicians, filmmakers and other artists that are intimately connected with the themes in question.

Provisional timetable:

-        21 to 26 April: session 1

-        16 to 21 June: session 2

-        4 to 9 August: session 3

-        8 to 13 September: session 4

-        October 2014: session 5, followed by the 4M Beirut Forum

Feel free to check out the 4M website: http://www.4m.cfi.fr



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