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Lebanese Media Coverage of the Oil and Gas Sector - 2018 Report
June 22, 2018

Since 2013, the SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom at the Samir Kassir Foundation (SKF) has partnered with Middle East Strategic Perspectives (MESP) to conduct a thorough monitoring of Lebanese media coverage of the oil and gas sector. In August 2017, SKeyes joined a project led by the Lebanese Oil and Gas Initiative (LOGI) entitled “Enhancing Transparency and Accountability in the Oil and Gas Sector in Lebanon” with the aim of providing media professionals with the knowledge and tools to shed light on the nascent sector, increase transparency and foster a culture of accountability. To this end, SKeyes held several training workshops with media outlets across Lebanon focusing on the latest developments in the Lebanese oil and gas sector and on journalists’ role in holding officials to account. SKeyes and MESP also continued its monitoring of the quality of media coverage of the sector.

In August 2014, SKeyes and MESP published a firstreport entitled “Lebanese Media Coverage of the Oil and Gas Sector.” A second report was published in October 2016. A third edition of the report was issued in May 2017 and highlighted the media treatment of two long-awaited government decrees, issued in January 2017, pertaining to the sector.

The adoption of the two decrees opened a new page for the Lebanese oil and gas sector, materializing in a first licensing round for exploration and production of offshore gas in two of Lebanon’s ten maritime blocks. Developments unfolded rather fast starting the last quarter of 2017.

The idea behind this fourth edition of the monitoring is to analyze and compare media coverage of three major milestones in the sector and one of the first communication campaigns aiming at raising citizen awareness around transparency and accountability. The four events/milestones covered in this report are: the announcement of the results of the first licensing round; the government’s decision to award the licenses, the signing of the Exploration and Production Agreements; and LOGI’s communication campaign around transparency and accountability criteria.

This project is conducted thanks to the support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.