MU Director Preps Lebanese Journos for Elections Coverage

Media Unlimited director Magda Abu-Fadil coached Lebanese journalists on the intricacies of covering their country’s legislative elections in May 2022 to ensure solid media coverage based on professional standards that transcend superficial political and sectarian rhetoric.

She conducted an intensive three-day workshop on the processes and mechanisms before, during and after the voting for members of Lebanon’s parliament who, in turn, will elect a new president in November 2022.

Lebanese journalists learning from the pros

The training in April 2022 grouped journalists from traditional print, broadcast, online and alternative media. It equipped participants with news gathering, reporting, fact-checking and interviewing skills.

Topics included the media’s role as elections observers, political parties, generating story ideas, opinion polls, covering women as candidates and incumbents, sources, risk mitigation, election finances, and media ethics.

Magda Abu-Fadil coaches journalists on coverage of Lebanon’s legislative elections in May 2022

The workshop also provided a gender balance component with attention to gender sensitive reporting and sexual harassment. It focused on freedom of expression and safety of journalists, notably challenges to women reporters facing threats, intimidation and editorial interference.


Hands-on training during working lunches

Abu-Fadil turned working lunches into hands-on exercises in a newsroom-like environment.

Three guest speakers added their expertise to the mix. Jean Nakhoul, executive producer at the MTV Lebanon channel and an elections analyst, discussed the voting system, election rules and Lebanon’s electoral law.


Jean Nakhoul dissects the electoral law and voting process

Zeina Khodor, a veteran correspondent at Aljazeera English TV channel, spoke of her experience in covering elections in Lebanon, Iran and Afghanistan.

Zeina Khodor shares her experience in covering elections over the years

Dyana El Baba, senior projects coordinator at the Lebanese Association for Democratic Elections (LADE), discussed her organization’s role in monitoring elections.


Dyana El Baba explains monitoring elections and reporting irregularities

Dalal Saoud, the Arab region’s director of the Women in News (WIN) program, a branch of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), organized the workshop.

Dalal Saoud describes WIN’s role to Lebanese trainees


The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) supported the training.

That’s Entertainment! Training Journalists Covering the Industry

How can one train journalists in coverage of the entertainment industry?

It’s not just television, radio, the movies and awards shows, but also the performing arts, the lucrative gaming business, health matters, and sometimes sports issues that define entertainment.

Producing entertainment content at MBC's online Dubai newsroom

Producing entertainment content at MBC’s online Dubai newsroom

Add “infotainment” and “edutainment,” and one has a vast world of news, views, statistics, and countless forms of visual representation to produce and deliver to any number of recipients across multiple mobile platforms.

So juggling news gathering, curation, production and packaging into the right online channels and interacting with one’s audiences via social media to keep the dynamic conversation going requires special talents, skills and a wide base of general knowledge.

Enter Media Unlimited’s Magda Abu-Fadil who worked with a team of very capable and professional entertainment journalists at the MBC Group’s online newsroom in Dubai to sharpen their skills and tweak their copy.

MBC-Al Arabiya building in Dubai

MBC-Al Arabiya building in Dubai

The March 2013 workshop focused on identifying entertainment journalism, tools of the trade, story structure, the art of writing entertainment news, breaking news and features.

The brief course dealt with widening the information base, working with archives, using background data and integrating strong visual elements in all stories.

Not to be overlooked was a dose of media ethics, notably in a field rife with rumors and innuendo.

Magda Abu-Fadil with new MBC friends

Magda Abu-Fadil with new MBC friends

The team also learned about interviewing techniques when dealing with celebrities, speeches, news conferences and the use of social media to collect and promote entertainment news.