SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Media Recovery Fund

On August 4, 2020, every Lebanese, every person who has ever visited Lebanon and known a Lebanese person, lost a part of their soul.

The country is still trying to digest what happened. While Lebanon has always been lauded for its resilience, the Lebanese people do not want to recover anymore only to confront another tragedy a few months or years later. The call for change is stronger than ever.

The explosion epitomized everything that is wrong about Lebanon’s governance: corruption, lack of transparency, lack of agency, and lack of responsibility. The popular reaction and the global solidarity send us a strong signal: Lebanon cannot go back to the pre-August 4 business as usual. While this first and foremost applies to state institutions, it also applies to how the media and civil society approach their role in society.

Since the blast, the Samir Kassir Foundation’s SKeyes Center has been working on a major support initiative that can leverage the contributions of all our partners.

We have been in touch with most of our international friends and local partners to see how we can contribute to the recovery and reconstruction of the media sector in Lebanon on a stronger basis.

The support should not only be focused on the short term. It should contribute to a stronger, more accountable media industry, that can lead to the vital change that Lebanon needs. It does not mean a media sector that is involved in politics, but a media environment that is better equipped to hold those in power to account, that can ask the right questions, develop its capacities to investigate and reflect citizens’ needs, and journalists who are better equipped to stand up to political bullying through better and more effective organizing.

To that end, the Samir Kassir Foundation is launching the MEDIA RECOVERY FUND that responds to the direct needs, but mostly lays the foundations for a stronger media sector tomorrow. This fund would work on six pillars:

1- Medical support to wounded journalists, including longer term needs, such as physiotherapy, prosthetics, medicine and medical equipment, especially those who may not have the right insurance.

2- Equipment, in case of damaged laptops, cameras, transmitters. This support would primarily go to freelance journalists and, on a case by case basis, to media organizations.

3- Work environment, in case of damaged offices.

4- Trauma and psycho-social support.

5- Investigative work. We believe that we cannot go back to the pre-August 4 media landscape, which was mostly complacent towards those in power, avoiding to verify key information, to look into data and evidence. Today, we have the moral obligation to push the media towards a more robust role in standing up to corruption. Our entire work will be driven by the belief that FREE PRESS SAVES LIVES.

6- Economic livelihood and resilience of journalists, to provide those in need with the support required to continue their work with dignity and encourage journalists to investigate, question, report and organize for better professional standards.

 

Support Request Forms

Click on the following icons to fill in forms related to:

  • Medical support
  • Equipment replacement
  • Workplace damage repair
  • Psycho-social support
  • Livelihood support
You will need a Google email account to fill in the forms. In case of technical difficulties, write to us.

Our team will contact you to follow up.

Partners and Supporters

The Media Recovery Fund could not have been launched without the trust, advice and support of the Samir Kassir Foundation's local and international partners, including but not limited to (in alphabetical order): Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), CFI - the French Media Development Agency, Committee to Protect Journalists, the Embassy of Canada, the Embassy of the United States of America, Free Press Unlimited, Friedrich Naumann Foundation, Global Forum for Media Development, International Media Support, International Women's Media Foundation - in honor of Ms. Raghida Dergham, Meedan-Check Global, National Endowment for Democracy, Open Society Foundations, Reporters Without Borders, Rory Peck Trust, Sigrid Rausing Trust, and UNESCO. We are looking forward to expanding this list and adding new partners.