TO support journalists in the region affected by the war in Gaza, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has established a new press freedom centre in the Lebanese capital, Beirut. This follows the opening of two centres in Ukraine in the aftermath of Russia’s large-scale invasion of the country in 2022, and represents an ongoing commitment to helping information professionals meet the specific challenges they face.

Equipped with Internet access, the Beirut centre, a regional hub for the media in the Middle East, will welcome journalists to work there if they wish. RSF and its local partners will offer training in physical and digital security, particularly for those wishing to travel to Palestine.

Access to psychological support and legal assistance will also be provided, as well as protective equipment to cover dangerous areas (bullet-proof vests, helmets, first-aid kits, etc.).

Rebecca Vincent, RSF Campaign Director said: “There is a clear and urgent need to support Palestinian journalism and the right to information throughout the Middle East, particularly the parts of the region most affected by the war in Gaza. Drawing on our experience in Ukraine, where we opened two press freedom centres during the war, RSF is launching a regional centre in Beirut dedicated to supporting journalists. The centre will provide a crucial space, and essential services to reinforce the safety of journalists working in the region, and to defend press freedom.

The Beirut centre will continue RSF’s work in support of journalists in the region since the war began on 7 October. With the help of its local partner, Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ), RSF has installed workspaces in Gaza for journalists to use, and has supplied Gazan journalists with professional equipment and basic survival products.

For the installation of the press freedom centre in Beirut, RSF has joined forces with the Samir Kassir Foundation, a long-standing partner that works for media and cultural freedom in Lebanon and the rest of the Arab world. In order to be able to reach as many journalists as possible, RSF will also have the support of regional organisations such as ARIJ, as well as the support of Filastinyat, a women journalists’ organisation based in Ramallah.

* More information on RSF’s work in Gaza here and in Ukraine here.

* Source: Reporters Without Borders