04/09/2021 | Press release | Archived content
The UNESCO-Beirut Office and the Lebanese Ministry of Information hosted a virtual ceremony on Friday to conclude a series of webinars they had organized between February and March 2021, and that were hosted by regional and international experts. Titled 'Journalism during and post COVID-19', the four sessions tackled various topics such as media coverage in light of the pandemic, the safety of journalists and mental health, the importance of fact checking and countering hate speech.
A virtual distribution of certificates to the participants took place, as the webinar series was attended by veteran journalists and media students who benefitted from interactive discussions as well as an exchange of success stories and experiences.
In her intervention, Caretaker Minister of Information Manal Abdel Samad underlined that the goal of her minister was to develop the capacities of journalists. She heaped praise on the training webinars organized with UNESCO's communication and information sector mandate, 'which allowed exchanging expertise and shedding light on current issues.'
Minister Abdel Samad also highlighted the importance of the partnership between the ministry and the UNESCO-Beirut Office in that respect. 'We seek a better society, sustainable development, and a good media environment. We also welcome all constructive comments and criticism as they help us develop,' she said.
For her part, UNESCO Beirut Officer in Charge, Costanza Farina, stressed that the UNESCO's goal was to support the media, freedom of expression, and the right to information. She also highlighted the necessity to fight fake news, hoping that the training sessions have helped media professionals in a practical way.
The World Health Organization has described the disinformation that is taking place in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic as a 'massive infodemic', a driver of the epidemic itself, knowing that media workers play a vital role in the current crisis.