DW Editor-in-Chief Manuela Kasper-Claridge and other representatives of DW and the DW Akademie invited partners, institutions and employees to the official opening of the new joint office in Beirut on September 26.
DW has had an office in Beirut since 2019.
Manuela Kasper-Claridge: "The new joint DW and DW Akademie office in Beirut will improve our networking on the ground. We want to show what we stand for in one of our most important target regions: independent journalism, commitment to freedom of expression and against all forms of discrimination."
Together with Kasper-Claridge, Jan Kuhlmann, Head of DW Arabic, Chantal Mairesse, Head of Unit Middle East, DW Akademie, and Beirut Bureau Chief Mohamad Chreyteh welcomed the guests.
The Beirut office is DW's third office in the Middle East and North Africa – alongside the Jerusalem bureau and the DW Akademie office in Tunis. The journalists on the ground thus cover the entire region.
Alongside English and Spanish, Arabic is one of the most successful of DW's 32 languages, with 41 million user contacts per week (as of 2022). DW's most popular Facebook accounts are also in Arabic, including JaafarTalk and DW Arabia. The Arabic-language satirical program Albasheer Show reaches 6.8 million followers on Instagram.
The media is a driving force for freedom of expression and participation in the region. In Lebanon, however, media companies are affected by several crises at once: The precarious economic situation, poor electricity and internet supply in many places, and the strong influence of political actors limit their work. Refugees or impoverished groups hardly play a role in reporting.
As Deutsche Welle's center for international media development, DW Akademie in Lebanon focuses on strengthening independent media that report for and about marginalized groups in the northern and eastern parts of the country.
Together with partners, DW Akademie offers training opportunities, especially for local and citizen journalists, and supports dialogue formats dedicated to topics of public interest. Through its projects, DW Akademie supports the human right to freedom of expression and unhindered access to information.
Chantal Mairesse, Head of Unit Middle East, DW Akademie: "In Beirut we find partners who want to make a difference, creativity that touches people, and the freedom that makes progress possible. Despite the ongoing crisis, Beirut has the appeal and potential to inspire journalism and media in the Middle East. That’s exactly where we want to be."