Meedan designs/develops open source software, leads monitoring projects, produces assessment standards, and conducts trainings in support of global digital journalism, human rights media investigations, and digital media verification.
This Annual Report reflects the state of Meedan.org and its financial health. Meedan.org is a US registered, San Francisco based, 501(c) 3 non-profit organization established in 2006 that works on projects to support global journalism and cross-cultural education.
2014 will go down in the history books as a year the world failed to improve itself. With a majority of our programing in the Arab region, Meedan’s work and partners have been reporting on, but also living through, this failure. Meedanis (the people of Meedan) and our partners have been, through this year, continuing our work in media verification and social media translation. Our media verification platform Checkdesk enabled partners like the Egyptian hyper-local media initiative Welad El Belad, the Syrian media collective Shabab Souria, and the UK-based Open Journalism pioneers Bellingcat to do reporting on the region that has entered into and influenced the international debate.
Meedan’s greatest successes in 2014, though, may have been in the strength and diversity of the open journalism trainings and online educational resources produced under the Checkdesk project. Our Arabic language journalism training resources, available at arabcitizenmedia.org, produced in collaboration with our partners and led by the outstanding research team at Birmingham City University working under Dr. Dima Saber, represent the best open resources for young and aspiring Arab digital journalists. This work also includes the official Arabic translation of the European Journalism Center’s Verification Handbook. By the numbers there have been 1440 journalists trained in media verification and open journalism tools and processes under the Checkdesk project over the past 24 months, these trainings have occurred across the region from rural Egypt to Beirut. Additionally we implemented the first J-School curriculum on media verification in the region with the Lebanese American University.
2014 also saw Meedan take its first serious foray into social entrepreneurism. With much of our income in 2013 coming in software development, in 2014 Meedan.org spun off a for-profit entity, taking an equity position and, with the help of the non profit law firm Adler Colvin, crafting a resource sharing agreement with Meedan Labs. We are pleased to be bringing social translation technologies to one of the world’s largest networks through Labs. We view this as a wise path for building a sustainable Meedan, having web-wide impact, and diversifying our revenue streams.
We are grateful to all our sponsors, partners, and friends around the world for the opportunity to do high impact work with a creative and global team and take the continued struggles of our planet and our Internet as reason to carry on with the work.
Salam, Ed Bice
Meedan builds web and mobile tools and implements creative projects for journalists and translators. Like our namesake the Arabic town square, our tools serve as a gathering place for talented people working to add context to the social web. Our approach is to design and implement human-centered, creative, and ambitious projects with world-class partners, including, corporations, media companies, universities, and researchers. Through all these projects we explore and support research, curriculum development, and new forms of digital storytelling. Our vision is a world that is better able to see, understand, and value its diversity. This, we hope, will lead to the real promise of a digitally networked planet, a global conversation that is wider, deeper, and more effective.
In 2014 Meedan and our network of partners conducted training, reporting, and hosted events in the Arab world (Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Qatar) and Eastern Europe (Ukraine) in addition to the US and UK.
The Checkdesk program seeks to develop digital media literacy and citizen journalism in the Arab world, through the provision of high quality reporting tools (Checkdesk), training resources (ArabCitizenMedia.org) and reporting by grassroots media collectives.
YALLAH (Youth Allied to Lead, Learn and Help) Forum is a cross-language forum developed by Meedan to support the international exchange programs of Qatar Foundation International. YALLAH allows English and Arabic speaking students to share ideas, conversations and experiences across languages.