01 October 2018
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Vanessa Bassil

"I believe that Peace Journalism is a needed, desirable, and practicable reform. Living in a country that faces constant political and national unity challenges, and whose media is controlled by interests that rather fuel conflicts, I decided to leave my job as a journalist, and establish an organization dedicated to train and advocate for the role of media in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Through the Media Association for Peace (MAP), I was able to make a difference in the young generation of journalists in Lebanon, building their capacities in reporting on conflicts constructively, and spreading a culture of peace, dialogue, and human rights in a war-torn society. Although I’ve started MAP as a small project in Lebanon, my Peace Journalism mission took me to 25 countries where I have promoted this beautiful and important concept among activists, media professionals and journalists. It is actually important to understand that media play a crucial role in peace, both traditional and new, and any change of any kind cannot happen without considering media, not only as an actor, but also as a partner". (Vanessa Bassil)

Ms. Vanessa Bassil is the Founder, President & Executive Director of the Media Association for Peace (MAP). She is specialized in media, peace and conflict, and is the pioneer of Peace Journalism in Lebanon, the Middle East and North Africa region. She has initiated projects and activities locally and internationally to train and advocate for the role of media in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Along with her leadership role at MAP, she is a consultant for local and international organizations, organizes conferences, designs and delivers training programs, and manages media production and publications. When she joined the civil society sector in 2009, Ms. Bassil was working as a freelance journalist for different local, regional and international media outlets, reporting on social, political and youth issues, and writing about peace stories. Academically, she is the first Lebanese to earn a MA degree in Media, Peace and Conflict studies from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace, Costa Rica. She also holds two BA degrees in Journalism and Political and Administrative Sciences, in addition to a Master1 in Information and Communication Sciences from the Lebanese University. Ms. Bassil is a TEDx speaker on Peace Journalism and the winner of several prizes for her peace media activism. In 2016, Rotaract (Sahel Metn-Lebanon) awarded her a trophy as an “Inspiring Young Leader.”