December 8, 2017
The two-day conference attracted over 400 media educators, students, journalists and activists from 20 universities and dozens of media institutions and civil society organizations. The conference included 40 speakers, among them media educator, journalists and politicians.
The conference included six panels that covered the topics of: entrepreneurship, investment and new business models; media curricula and media literacy; media laws and regulations; media research, graduates, and continuing education; professional and ethical standards and social media challenges; and communication technologies and digital media.
In his opening word, Dr. Jad Melki, Chairperson of the Department of Communication Arts at LAU, introduced Dr. Joseph Jabbra, president of LAU, Mr. Melhem Riachy, Lebanese Minister of Information, Dr. Hassan Falha, Director General of the Ministry of Information, and Dr. Mirna Abouzeid, representative of the Association of Media Educators in Lebanon.
President Jabbra welcomed the Minister’s support for MedLeb and highlighted the importance of elevating media education and fighting for freedom of expression and press freedom in Lebanon and the region, especially in this era of political turmoil and technological revolutions. In return, Mr. Riachy praised the mission of MedLeb and its goals to raise the level of journalism in Lebanon and connect the industry with university graduates and academics.
Dr. Falha expressed his appreciation for Medleb and how it succeeded in gathering media professionals and academics from all Lebanese universities and regions.
Dr. Abouzeid highlighted six objectives prioritized by MedLeb: elevating media curriculum in the country, developing media research among academic, expanding media and digital literacy throughout Lebanese society and teaching institutions, encouraging creativity and innovation, and helping retrieve Lebanese media’s prominent role in the region, and reemphasizing media ethics.
The conference also welcomed the Keynote speaker Jake Lynch, Ph.D, Chair of the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney. Lynch lectured on Peace Journalism the first day and closed the conference with a three-hour workshop on the same topic.
Founded in 2017, MedLeb is an independent nonprofit organization that aims to promote cooperation among journalism, media and communication programs, advance scientific research, elevate curricular standards, strengthen the relationship between educators, professionals, policymakers, and the industry, and foster media literacy across Lebanese society. It strives to position Lebanon as a model for media education, training and research in the Arab region.
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Watch the Opening ceremony here