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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Funding Opportunity: Media and Elections in Lebanon

Friday , 04 February 2022

Project Background
As Lebanon prepares for the legislative elections of May 2022, and despite the ruling political class’ attempts in thwarting the process, the country risks diving into further instability if the elections are not held or if they are held far from the expected standards of freedom and fairness that would secure citizens’ right to “speak up” democratically.


The current electoral law distinguishes between free "electoral information", and paid for "electoral advertising/publicity." However, the law does not specify a minimum quota for electoral information or a maximum for electoral advertising. As a result, most of mainstream media’s airtime goes to a limited number of wealthy recurring candidates, thus failing to thoroughly transfer the whole election landscape to citizens. In response to the Lebanese establishment’s control over most of the news industry, “alternative” media initiatives emerged via social media platforms, especially after the 2015 protest movement, to highlight independent voices and opinions. Over the past few years, these media and news platforms have become serious competitors of the mainstream media in the digital world.


The Samir Kassir Foundation (SKF) believes that online media platforms can lead by example in producing high-quality election content focusing on a citizen-centric, rather than candidate-centric, approach. From the onset of the official campaign all the way to the announcements of results and the review of post-election complaints, SKF’s “Media and Elections in Lebanon” project will support non-partisan independent digital media platforms in providing a fairer and more balanced approach to the electoral process, by offering a levelled playing field to all candidates, focusing on fact-based reporting and questioning, reflecting citizens’ concerns, and refraining from incitement and partisanship.

Application Details

The program’s main objective is to fund and support the production of high-quality election-related media content which ensures the highest diversity standards in reporting all electoral programs, presents verified information, and checks the accuracy of candidates’ statements. SKF encourages applicants to submit innovative, untested ideas, which fully explore the potential of digital production and outreach. Furthermore, election-focused trainings and mentorship programs will be offered by international experts to production teams, technical staff, and researchers according to best practices in electoral coverage and quality journalism.

Therefore, SKF invites non-partisan independent digital media to submit a concept note and budget forecast of projects related to the upcoming elections, describing the project’s context and format, research and technical requirements, and needed human resources. The grant amount may reach up to USD 61,000.


Please take the following aspects in consideration when submitting your application: 

  • Background: In a few sentences, tell us about your organization.  
  • Context: How does the project fit in the overall values and objectives of the platform?
  • Concept: Provide a thorough description of the project (structure, timeline, key components, and innovative elements).
  • Risks: What are the current and foreseeable risks that might impede the project’s implementation? Please take into account: financial, operational, reputational, political, and security risks, etc.
  • Key staff: Please include short bios of all key personnel who would be directly funded by the grant.
  • Detailed budget: List all human resources, contractual agreements, logistical and technical, and production costs related to the program.
  • Training, support, and capacity building needs: What are the specific areas where you believe your organization could benefit from additional training and support (for staff, hosts, researchers, and production team)?


Please send the completed proposal in Engish, French, or Arabic to Ayman Mhanna and Wael Akiki by February 28, 2022.

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