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.

Abu-Fadil Caps Workshops Run With Egyptian Journalists

Capping a series of workshops across the Middle East/North Africa region and beyond, Media Unlimited director Magda Abu-Fadil joined BBC veteran Jim Fish to train two groups of Egyptian journalists in Jordan.

BBC veteran Jim Fish reviews journalists' work

BBC veteran Jim Fish reviews journalists’ work

Fish and Abu-Fadil reviewed and assessed the work of two groups of reporters, producers and editors for Egyptian print, broadcast and online media.

Egyptian journalists listen to comments about their work

Egyptian journalists listen to comments about their work

The journalists’ output was an assignment finalizing training that followed up on earlier courses organized by BBC Media Action and that the journalists had undergone on news reporting and writing.

Jim Fish & Magda Abu-Fadil with Group I of Egyptian journalists

Jim Fish & Magda Abu-Fadil with Group I of Egyptian journalists

The September 2014 back-to-back workshops in Amman aimed at ascertaining the importance of proper and diverse sourcing, balance in presenting various sides to the reported information, ethical considerations, newsworthiness and accuracy.

The trainers also stressed the importance of the correct use of language, grammar, attention to translated material used in the journalists’ coverage, and making sure all information, notably numerical data, are presented in the proper context.

Abu-Fadil & Fish with Group II of Egyptian trainees

Abu-Fadil & Fish with Group II of Egyptian trainees

Fish and Abu-Fadil also provided pointers on how to improve radio, TV and online stories’ audio, visual and multimedia presentations.

The European Union-funded workshops are part of a program run by a BBC Media Action-led consortium covering 17 countries in the “European Neighbourhood.”