4M Mashreq
4M Mashreq


Participate in the development of pluralist information
Contribute to the strengthening of the skills of the media and the search for a viable business model
Create a network of new media stakeholders and put them in touch with potential finance partners
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The Mashreq has seen rapid growth in the area of the online media and has a strong development potential. The new media, particularly in the wake of the Arab Spring, are proving to be the most effective vector of free speech in this region. Independent pure players, journalists, activists and bloggers offer a wealth of varied information which is immediately picked up and discussed by users themselves.

However, they are faced with a number of problems shared by the region as a whole, problems which the 4M Mashreq project sets out to tackle. Paving the way in this fledgling industry, the journalists working for new media often lack training: some are still unfamiliar with web technologies, while others, although very comfortable on social networks, have scant training in basic journalism and management skills. Lastly, without a long-term strategic vision or a guarantee of financial independence these media cannot create a viable economic environment. The weak advertising market and lack of online payment systems are among the obstacles they face.
The 4M Mashreq project thus aims to support ten media with a high development potential, helping to strengthen their skills and promote exchanges with other media, to share experiences, as well as with potential investors.

“By devising the 4M Mashreq programme and then steering it for the best part of a year, I decided to start (again) by getting back to basics, with the task of taking a group of news media organisations yearning for independence, at crest of the digital wave, in a region in constant turmoil, and putting them on the path to a sustainable future.”
Julien Le Bot, educational coordinator for the project

Project beneficiaries

Ten new media from Lebanon (6), Syria (1), Palestine (2) and Iraq (1) selected following a call for applications.

Project manager

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4M Mashreq


Identification of structures and strengthening of their skills

Selected following a call for applications from online news projects, the 10 beneficiaries of 4M Mashreq fulfil criteria in terms of quality, ability, innovation and development potential. Hosted by Alt City (Beirut, Lebanon), five training sessions were held to support participants in the development of their project. The three residential sessions take different forms (collective workshops, peer learning, involving the sharing of experiences and practices between participants, and personalised assistance for each project) and cover all aspects of the project: editorial, user experience, marketing, business model, development strategy, fundraising.

Beneficiaries pay the registration fees and set themselves goals between sessions, during which time they stay in contact with the educational coordinators of 4M Mashreq to encourage progress.

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