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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