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Lit review & case studies

This page features literature, case studies and mapping documents relevant to regional meeting of GFMD members and partners working in the MENA region on 30 November 2023.

Israel-Gaza war: Journalism and media support, and information integrity responses

GFMD’s members and partners have asked the Secretariat to map emergency needs, funding, and crisis response capabilities for media and journalists reporting on the Israel/Palestine conflict.
If your organisation is working in the region please update this shared spreadsheet (access granted upon request) or send us information directly by email.

What we are looking for:

  • Emergency needs Journalists, media and support organisations affected by Israel-Gaza conflict, e.g. evacuation, relocation, funding, physical protection equipment, etc.
  • Links to funding sources, resources and information about services your organisation can provide to journalists and media organisations affected by the conflict.
  • Contact information to those coordinating efforts and resources within your organisation as well as a short description of your organisation.

How we will use the information:

  • Identify organisations already engaged in media support in Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, and the wider region to enable coordination of ongoing relief and assistance efforts.
  • Ensure that regional media support organisations and the media they assist are aware of and able to connect with international crisis response and journalist safety mechanisms, such the Journalists in Distress network.
  • Publish an appeal to coincide with the ARIJ conference, 1-3 December, advocating for the safety of journalists and identifying areas where immediate, medium-term and long-term support is needed.

The Samer Kassir Foundation (2021)

Objectives of the assesment:
The methodology proposed hereunder will allow international and regional stakeholders to:
• Assess the impact of the conflict on journalists and media in Palestine;
• Evaluate the impact of the conflict on media diversity and sustainability in Palestine;
• Establish a rapid response mechanism to address emergency needs of journalists and media in Palestine;
• Establish a road map to encourage pluralism in the media sector in Palestine.

Palestinian Media Sector Assessment of Needs, Challenges, and Pluralism (December 2021)

The Samer Kassir Foundation with the support of UNESCO

This study aims to identify the ability of Palestinian media institutions to grow, generate, and attract revenues, despite the challenges they are facing. It is built upon a sophisticated methodology that combines desk research, economic analysis, electronic surveys, in-depth key informant interviews, and focus group discussions.

Reporter's Guide to Investigating War Crimes (Sept. 2023)

(avalable in English, Arabic and Ukrainian)
Global Investigative Journalism Network (GJIN)
GIJN’s comprehensive Reporter’s Guide to Investigating War Crimes includes expert advice from more than two dozen specialists and journalists, covering everything from the legal aspects of war, attacks on civilians, conflict-related sexual violence, environmental crimes, banned weapons, genocide, forced disappearances, archiving evidence, open source research, military command structures, tracing war criminals, documenting with photo and video, physical and digital security best practices, and self-care for covering traumatic events.

The impact of the Ukraine conflict as a crisis multiplier in the Middle East and North Africa (June 2022)

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

This rapid assessment report aims to support MENA scenario development to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to evolving crisis trends in the MENA region, with specific considerations on how the Ukraine conflict is a risk multiplier to existing crisis trends.

Needs assessments and coordination of media assistance in the MENA region

TOMORROW’S JOURNALISM IN THE SOUTHERN MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES

SahafaMed (September 2023)

A study of the needs of the media and independent journalists
The study, completed in September 2023, provides an overview of the situation of the media and journalism in the various countries of the region, with a view to identifying prospects and courses of action to promote and sustain, through independent media, free journalism at the service of society and the general interest. It also aims to improve the match between the needs of journalists and the programs proposed by donors and organizations in charge of media development.

Transforming Media Development – Recommendations for Effective Funding and Collaboration (Sept. 2023)

Global Forum for Media Development
This study is based on a body of desk research as well as a series of online interviews with GFMD members. It documents the challenges that GFMD’s members face daily in their attempts to raise funds and live up to donor expectations on reporting and accountability. This report builds on the findings of surveys conducted by GFMD in 2018 and 2022 to assess members’ perceptions of fundraising processes and donor priorities for the media and the media development sector. Over the past five years, research by the Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD) has revealed significant challenges in fundraising and business development for media support organisations, including:

Tunisia Media Landscape Assesment (March 2023)

Internews

Tunisia has undertaken significant strides towards its democratic transition in recent history, with freedom of expression and a vibrant media landscape being two of the main gains from the Jasmine revolution. However, almost a decade later, the levels of trust Tunisians have towards the electoral and political processes (EPP) in their country are on a downward trend. This lack of trust can be attributed to several factors, most notably that citizens believe elected officials and political parties are doing little to address their needs, paralleled with a media landscape, which despite being vibrant in volume, is in need of significant strengthening in capacity, credibility, relevance and reach.

Media Professionalism Index

TAFNIED MTÜ

A digital platform that is the result of a collaborative effort among several Arabic institutions specialized in fact-checking and news verification
The index works on analyzing and evaluating the professionalism of content published by the most influential and widespread Arabic media outlets. This is done through a set of criteria and indicators, comparing different media outlets in terms of content, perspectives, objectives, and the extent to which professional standards are met.

Building Regional Strategies for Media Development in the Middle East and North Africa (March 2020)

Center for International Media Assistance
Experts from 13 countries in the Middle East and North Africa agreed on the priorities that could provide the basis for greater collective action to defend independent media in the region. This report provides a summary of those deliberations.

Coordinating Media Assistance and Journalism Support Efforts (Nov. 2022)

Global Forum for Media Development
The need for coordination and information sharing within the media development industry is widely recognised – particularly in the wake of conflict or crisis. Common wisdom holds that coordination plays an essential role in avoiding duplication or contradictions between programmes funded by different donors and offers a unique opportunity to explore synergies between complementary strands of work. This report analyses the scope and focus of media assistance coordination efforts, highlighting common pitfalls as well as best practice models.
A four-page policy briefing that presents a set of major findings and recommendations for practical steps that could be used to inform future coordination initiatives, including in conflict and emergency situations, can be accessed here.
The full report is available here.

Media viability: The global versus the local (June 2023)

Global Forum for Media Development
Market reforms, rebuilding trust, and digital regulation and innovation were key themes to emerge from a series of consultations on media viability in Namibia, Tunisia, and Lebanon organised by GFMD. Three country reports that bring together policy recommendations for supporting journalism and independent media in these countries. The consultations built upon the previous UNESCO policy brief titled Finding the funds for journalism to thrive: policy options to support media viability, along with other relevant reports and literature. The goal was to stress-test and contextualise global policy recommendations.

Combating Disinformation in the Arab World - The COVID-19 pandemic as a case study (December 2020)

Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ)

The policy paper, conducted by researcher Noha Atef, and with support from Basma ElMahdy and Basma Mostafa, uses COVID-19 as a model to arrive at the causes and effects of misleading content, also offering alternative solutions that would allow for the improvement of media performance.

Funding for journalism and media support in the MENA region

Building regional strategies for media development in the Middle East and North Africa Mapping the funding landscape for media and journalism support in the Middle East and North Africa region.

If your organisation is working in the MENA region please update the second tab of this mapping spreadsheet directly. GFMD we will use the information to:
  • Identify gaps in funding and areas for collaboration/coordination.
  • Further advocacy for donors, funders and policymakers.

MediaDev Fundraising Guide - Arabic

Global Forum for Media Development
GFMD;s Fundraising Guide for Media Development and journalism support has now been translated into Arabic and is hosted by GFMD member ARIJ - the Arabic Reporters for Investigative Journalism. The guide will help to equip Arabic media, media development, and journalism support organisations with the essential tools and knowledge needed to diversify their funding sources, build sustainable revenue models, and foster long-term financial stability.

National Journalism Funds – Policy Paper (Sept. 2022)

Global Forum for Media Development
There are a number of countries where funders could – with the right strategies, support, partnerships and safeguards – undertake interventions to bolster and strengthen the independence of the journalism ecosystem. As part of this, with the right levels of financial support, independence from political, industrial or other interests, a commitment to the public interest above all, and an outlook that is genuinely strategic and structural, such ‘national funds for journalism’ (NFJs) could be part of a breakthrough solution for countries or regions worldwide looking to develop sustainable homegrown independent media.
GFMD IMPACT has compiled a comprehensive and growing spreadsheet with examples of a variety of government-supported and national journalism funds featuring examples and literature on more than 40 national journalism funds in this ever-evolving field.
GFMD commissioned two new complementary briefings, designed to inform efforts to advocate for, design and build such NFJs around the world:
A policy paper looking at the worldwide state of the field of national funds for journalism, authored by Sameer Padania and Francesca Silvani of Macroscope. Access the PDF version here.
A policy brief focused on funds that governments set up to support journalism within their own countries, authored by Anya Schiffrin and Brigitte Alfter. Access the PDF version here.

Review of the Funding Landscape for Media Development Actors in Lebanon (Feb. 2022)

Global Forum for Media Development
Across the MENA region, there has been a growing recognition that traditional approaches to media development are struggling to deliver the anticipated results. This acknowledgement has led some donors to conduct far-ranging needs assessments in order to better understand the priorities of their beneficiaries as well as the environmental constraints that have blunted the impact of media development initiatives in the past.
At the same time, the recipients of donor funding are increasingly asking to have a say in determining the kind of support that is provided by the international community. They say that programmes should be driven by demand rather than by donor assumptions or thematic priorities that do not fully reflect the situation on the ground.
The calls for proposals reviewed during this study suggest that donors are responding to these concerns. There is clear evidence of concerted efforts to make funding more accessible to local organisations and to move the centre of gravity away from international partners. Although some programmes remain out of the reach of local players due to the size of their budgets or their regional scope, they often include very significant sub-granting programmes aimed at helping local media to become viable businesses and at supporting the production of public interest content.

Public Funding for Private Media in the MENA Region (PRIMED, April 2022)

by Sarah Zaarour

This research paper was commissioned by BBC Media Action to support discussions in a national conference in Sierra Leone in April 2022 aimed at fostering an enabling environment for media investment and at exploring new ways of supporting independent media. Combining desk research and interviews, it examines national funding mechanisms for private media in the five selected countries, and gives a general assessment of their role in promoting viable, independent, and diverse media.

The Media and Information Landscape in Lebanon (MILA) report (August 2021)

Internews and Maharat Foundation as part of the Kingdom of Netherlands funded project Advancing Diverse Voices in Lebanon

The Media and Information Landscape in Lebanon (MILA) report examines the media habits and preferences of the Lebanese people through data collection from audiences and media outlets.

Conclusions and next steps

Principles on effective support to media and the information environment

Updating the Code of Practise for all GFMD members