Media are NGOs’ partners in the fight against corruption, experts told Lebanese journalists at a workshop in Beirut.
Media have played a key role in uncovering Arab leaders’ corruption, according to Dr. Azmi Shuaibi, the Arab Anti-Corruption and Integrity Network’s Non-Governmental Group coordinator.
He addressed 10 journalists from print, broadcast and online media who attended the training as part of a conference organized by the UN Development Program (UNDP), ACIAC and the Lebanese Justice Ministry.
The April workshop also featured academic Khalil Gebara who asked rhetorically if there was a political will in Lebanon to fight corruption.
“Why aren’t corruption issues on the list of government priorities?” he said.
Lead trainer and Media Unlimited director Magda Abu-Fadil walked the journalists through the definitions of corruption and how media can play an increasingly important role as watchdogs in the post-Arab Spring environment.
She also briefed them on international standards of investigative journalism and their application to corruption in the Arab world.
Another key component is media ethics and its importance in reporting on corruption, she said.
Abu-Fadil also focused on the vital role played by social media and how best to utilize them.
Participants provided a list of recommendations, which UNDP’s Regional Communications Specialist Rut Gomez Sobrino hopes to translate into an action plan.