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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

Refocusing the Refugee Debate

Tuesday , 05 March 2024

The Samir Kassir Foundation (SKF) invites independent digital media outlets in Lebanon to submit proposals for creating and promoting media content, utilizing social media platforms where applicable, that addresses the different aspects of the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon, particularly at the management and policy level, and the implications of the absence of an adequate level of both, on the lives of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.  

: SKF is a non-governmental organization that works to defend media freedom, cultural diversity, and democratic values in Lebanon and the Arab world. SKF has been increasingly active in combatting hate speech and disinformation, which are being weaponized to promote fear, complacency, and reactionary political agendas. Marginalized groups in Lebanon are the most affected by hateful narratives. SKF launched a two-year monitoring program in 2021 to identify targets and perpetrators of hate speech in the media landscape and published the results in a comprehensive report in March 2023. The findings from the monitoring indicate that hate speech is an organized endeavor rather than an individual’s reaction to a situation or a people. There are engines that drive the propagation and expansion of hate and disinformation that target a certain character, group, or institution.

: The objective of this call for proposals is to support independent digital media outlets and CSOs in Lebanon to create media content that contributes to fact-checking the narrative promoted by state and state-affiliated parties on the impact of the Syrian refugee crisis, exposing disinformation, and highlighting the realities of both the Syrian refugee life in Lebanon and Lebanese communities interacting with refugees. The content must also utilize existing research and evidence to re-focus the debate around the management of the Syrian refugee crisis by the authorities and the various local and international stakeholders, and the absence of a national policy that addresses the different aspects of the crisis, analyzing and fact-checking the mainstream narratives around the topic, through fact-based and hate-free reporting. Applying outlets must approach the topic using an innovative strategy that builds on lessons learned from previous experience and from existing research, and accordingly establish a narrative that would resonate with different audiences and influence public opinion. Conducting investigative journalism and research can be part of the groundwork and is an eligible expense; this however must be used to launch a comprehensive campaign and cannot alone be the outcome of the outlet’s work.

: To be eligible for this call, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a digital media outlet registered in Lebanon, with a clear editorial policy and a commitment to ethical standards, or a registered civil society organization with a commitment to human rights and social equality.
  • Have a proven track record of producing quality and independent journalism or solid advocacy campaigns with a focus on social and political issues (experience working on issues related to the Syrian refugee crisis is a strong advantage).
  • Have a strong online presence and outreach, with a website, social media platforms, and a loyal and engaged audience.

Eligible proposals must demonstrate a clear vision and strategy for creating and launching a campaign that can effectively respond to the misconceptions and organized hate speech that impacts Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

: SKF will provide grants of up to $20,000 to selected media outlets. The grants will be disbursed in three installments: 40% upon signing the contract, 40% upon submission of a mid-term report, and 20% upon submission of a final report and conclusion of deliverables.

Project Duration
: The project duration is 9 months.

Program Start Date:
April 1st, 2024.

: Applicants must submit the following documents by email to by March 25, 2024:

  • A proposal (maximum 5 pages, excluding the cover letter) that contains the following sections:
    • Introduction: A brief overview of the media outlet or CSO, its mission, vision, and values, and its main achievements and challenges.
    • Context: A brief analysis of the context of the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon, the policy challenges around the matter, and the gaps and opportunities for alternative narratives.
    • Objectives: A clear statement of the specific objectives and expected outcomes of the project, and how they align with the overall objective of the call for proposals.
    • Methodology: A detailed explanation of the methods and tools that will be used to create and promote the campaign, such as data collection and analysis, storytelling techniques, visualizations, platforms, etc.
    • Program activities: Describe the activities and communication approach that will help reach the objectives.
    • Budget: A breakdown of the estimated costs of the project, with budget notes where applicable (explaining how the calculation was made).

: SKF will review and evaluate the applications based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance: The extent to which the proposal addresses the objective of the call and demonstrates critical understanding of the context.
  • Quality: The extent to which the proposal integrates and utilizes communication as a critical element of action, how innovative the approach to activity design is, and how information and evidence is solicited and used.
  • Feasibility: The extent to which the proposal has a clear and realistic work plan, budget, and timeline, and the capacity and resources to implement the project.
  • Impact: The extent to which the proposal has a potential to generate positive and lasting change in the public perception and discourse.

SKF will notify the applicants of the results of the selection by March 31, 2024. Grants will be launched beginning of April 2024.

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