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Magda Abu-Fadil
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Magda Abu-Fadil, who brings years of experience as a foreign correspondent and editor with international news organizations such as Agence France-Presse and United Press International, is director of Media Unlimited. She headed the Journalism Training Program at the American University of Beirut, which she founded. She wrote for Arab dailies Asharq Al-Awsat and Al Riyadh, Washington-based Defense News, was Washington bureau chief of Events magazine, and was Washington correspondent for London-based The Middle East magazine. Abu-Fadil served as director of the Institute for Professional Journalists at the Lebanese American University. She taught journalism at her alma mater, American University in Washington, D.C.

She conducts seminars and workshops in English, Arabic and French for professional journalists across the Arab world, collaborates with international organizations on media projects, consults on media education programs, speaks regularly at international conferences, publishes extensively on media issues, journalism education, and training, and, blogs for the Huffington Post.

Entries by Magda Abu-Fadil

Rumors: Are Lebanese Media Culprits? Take 2

(0) Comments | Posted August 10, 2014 | 12:48 PM

Rumors are Lebanon's daily bread with legacy media and citizen journalists accused of fanning the flames amid domestic political unrest, economic uncertainty, and regional upheaval whose sparks are burning Lebanese fingers.

"In front of the White House...Supporters of the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) are everywhere," came the tweet from supporters...

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Rumors: Are Lebanese Media Culprits?

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2014 | 12:04 PM

News of a mini civil war in Lebanon between the Lebanese army and fighters thought to belong to the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) triggered a wave of rumors this week that were blamed in part on traditional media.

The troubling clashes along the eastern border are a...

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Gaza in Social Media Images Speaks Volumes

(0) Comments | Posted July 30, 2014 | 4:10 PM

The images from and about Gaza disseminated through social media are striking, searing, poignant and loaded with messages, proving, yet again, that a picture (or cartoon) is worth a thousand words.

They range from neutral to graphic traditional media photos shot at the scene of events, alongside images from...

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War, Words, Vocabulary & Media Ethics

(1) Comments | Posted July 24, 2014 | 9:00 AM

Ongoing wars require us to take a long, hard look at the language journalists use, to reassess the nouns, adjectives and verbs that are often misleading and unethical.

These unfolding conflicts demonstrate how words have become meaningless and have been taken out of context.

In the interest of precision, I...

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Saraya Abdeen: TV Serial Vexes Egyptians, Historians

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 9:25 AM

Barely halfway through its month-long run, the TV serial Saraya Abdeen had already ruffled Egyptian feathers, irked historians, and upset the surviving son of Egypt's ousted King Farouk whose forebears occupied the palace after which the show is named.

"The serial is replete with historical and geographical errors,...

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On Being a Foreign Correspondent

(0) Comments | Posted July 6, 2014 | 4:35 AM

Rachele Kanigel's "10 Tips for Training the Next Generation of Foreign Correspondents" immediately drew my attention but her headline didn't quite match my expectations.

She focused more on her experience in running a study abroad program than on preparing her charges for the rigors of overseas assignments....

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Robo-Journo = Pulitzer?

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2014 | 5:23 AM

Can a robot-journalist win a Pulitzer Prize? Will humans be sidelined in the media?

"With DocumentCloud, journalists at newspapers such as The Guardian and The Washington Post have been easily able to plot dates from disparate documents on timelines, highlight and compare key passages,...

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So You Want to Start An English-Language News Site?

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2014 | 10:55 AM

Friends and acquaintances across the Middle East/North Africa region often ask for advice on matters related to journalism, media in general, ethics, and how to prepare young people for this very exciting and ever-changing field.

On a recent visit to an Arab traditional print media news organization, the CEO-cum-editor in...

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Newsroom Mantra? "We Should Be in the Relationship Business"

(0) Comments | Posted June 16, 2014 | 8:53 AM

We should be in the relationship business, said media guru Jeff Jarvis, suggesting our longstanding mantra that content is king needs revisiting.

Creating and finding value in relationships with people should be editors' goals, he was quoted as saying in "Trends in Newsrooms 2014," a must-read publication by...

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Fragonard: The Art of Perfume

(1) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 9:43 AM

Little did I know the enchanting fragrance I received as a gift sample at a conference in Menton was also the name of a painter who hailed from nearby Grasse, a French Riviera town made famous for perfumes.

Since that event in 2009, I became a devotée of...

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Social Media, Sedition, Sectarianism and Sisi Grip #AMF14

(0) Comments | Posted June 1, 2014 | 4:24 AM

"Saudi cleric says chatting online is haram" (religiously banned in Islam).

According to Saudi daily al-Eqitisadiya, Sheikh Abdullah al-Mutlaq, a member of the Saudi Committee of Senior Scholars, said that chatting online through social networks falls under the forbidden "khulwa" (a religious term describing a situation where a...

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Arabic Online Media Ethics Guide Launched at Lebanon Forum

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 8:36 AM

It's worth repeating: Media minus ethics equal a disservice to all.

I insist on using the plural for media (medium is the singular).

It's a topic I'll never tire of writing about, addressing at conferences, training journalists and bloggers about at workshops and in courses, and highlighting at every opportunity.

...
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Bardo Museum: A Tunisian Treasure

(0) Comments | Posted May 4, 2014 | 9:38 AM

I couldn't get enough of the fabulous mosaics dating from ancient Greek times to well after the Christian era at Tunisia's renovated National Bardo Museum.

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Plethora of mosaics at Bardo Museum (Abu-Fadil)

I had to revisit the museum on a...

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Baalbeck: Marriage of History and Performing Arts

(0) Comments | Posted April 23, 2014 | 10:11 AM

The briefly displaced Baalbeck International Festival is going home.

The world-renowned annual event that was moved last year for security reasons from its traditional historical venue near the Syrian border to the outskirts of Lebanon's capital Beirut is set to resume its activities amidst Baalbeck's...

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Go Plant Your Magazine!

(0) Comments | Posted April 13, 2014 | 11:06 AM

Go plant your magazine!

That's right. Belgian magazine Humo embedded flower seeds in one of its editions, telling readers to simply bury the page in question.

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Go plant your magazine (courtesy FIPP)

About eight weeks later: a field of flowers.

A good...

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Basic Arabic: Waheed Samy's Definitive Tome

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 10:30 AM

Those cut out to be teachers are a breed apart. The good ones, who make a difference in people's lives, are priceless gems cherished long after they're gone.

Such was the case with polyglot Waheed Samy who wrote several books on the teaching and learning of Arabic, who straddled Arab...

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A Tale of Two Rabat Restaurants

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 3:58 PM

It's right out of central casting.

That's what my American friend Anne told me before inviting me to what's become my favorite restaurant in Rabat and that I went to on a trip to the Moroccan capital this month.

Anne, then based in Morocco, took me to dinner the first...

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Media Freedom in Lebanon, Or Is It?

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 8:05 AM

Have TV show hosts, bloggers, activists and journalists gone too far in Lebanon or do they reflect the general mood by slamming public officials and their relatives seen as abusing power and dipping into government funds?

Satirists and caricaturists have been relentless in their criticism of thin-skinned and vindictive Lebanese...

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Jurji Zaidan: Renaissance Man for All Seasons

(1) Comments | Posted March 2, 2014 | 8:29 AM

He was a pillar of «Al Nahda», the Arab Awakening movement, who died a century ago but his legacy of promoting cross-cultural understanding, Islamic civilization's riches, and revival of the Arabic language, lives on.

The works of Jurji Zaidan (1861-1914), the prolific Lebanese-born novelist, historian, journalist, educator and intellectual, transcend...

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Much Ado About Photoshop?

(0) Comments | Posted February 23, 2014 | 9:17 AM

"How to hoax the international sports media with nothing more than a red circle."

A catchy headline with even catchier pictures that led sports journalists astray.

A tweet by Pascal Taillandier, editorial production manager at Agence France-Presse (AFP) (Twitter handle @ptaillandier), pointed to a

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