Meedan supported independent media workers based on the ground in the aftermath of the explosion in Beirut on August 4, 2020. After consultation with our Beirut-based partners and our funders at Sida, we re-allocated our travel budget for 2020 to set up the Check Global Beirut Response Fund, a $26,000 fund to support independent media organizations and workers on the ground.
Through the Check Global Beirut Response Fund, we allocated $16,000 in unrestricted funds to three vetted independent media organizations, which we can’t name for security reasons, to support and sustain their investigative journalistic work. The remaining $10,000 have gone toward the Samir Kassir Foundation’s Media Recovery Fund to cater to independent media workers’ tech and equipment needs. As a state of emergency was declared–and extended–in Beirut, effectively giving all powers to the army, the fund provided in-kind support in the form of a digital security training led by circumvention and privacy expert Sarah Aoun with 25 independent journalists to provide protection from surveillance and censorship.