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In-depth look at Alex Media Forum

Sun, Apr. 22, 2018
CAIRO – 21 April 2018: Alex Media Forum (AMF) offers a unique interdisciplinary approach to tackling a challenge that defines our role as journalists and readers: fake news, or to be more accurate, “information disorder”, which threatens the credibility of journalism.

The beneficial discussions that took place at the forum have not only addressed important journalism-related topics and some of today's most pressing challenges, but have helped build new connections between participants and trainers from different parts of the world.

AMF contributes to finding innovative ways to strengthen the role of journalists and empower them with the latest technologies that can be used in the fact-checking process.

The 6th edition AMF lasted for three days at the Egyptian Japanese University for Science and Technology (EJUST) and the Swedish Institute in Alexandria.

The video link on youtube


“Fact checking is essential for the free flow of information, reliable journalism, sustainable development of the media field and avoiding mainstream representations in media. Quality journalism holds the key to crafting the future we want for all,” said Ahmed Esmat, executive director of AMF.

On a yearly basis, AMF is held in Alexandria for three days, tackling topics related to media and journalism. This year’s title is “Technology, Media and Post-Truth Era”, and about 200 participants from 13 Arab countries are participating.

In addition to the informative content, AMF has also proved successful in strengthening regional and inter-regional networks committed to media development and media for development.

Alex Media Forum closing session at the Swedish Institute in Alexandria - By Rehab Ismail
AMF closing session at the Swedish Institute in Alexandria - By Rehab Ismail


The workshops discussed many topics related to the forum’s theme, including “Media in the Age of Algorithms” by investigative data journalist Sebastian Mondial; “Fact-checking tools” by Derek Thomson, editor-in-chief of The France 24 Observers; “Media Polarization” by Peter Weiderud, director of the Swedish Institute in Alexandria; “Legal aspects related to fake news” by lawyer Ehab Sallam; and “Reputation management in the post-truth era” by Mohamed Soltan.

“Media Polarization” session by Peter Weiderud, director of the Swedish Institute in Alexandria - Rehab Ismail
“Media Polarization” session by Peter Weiderud, director of the Swedish Institute in Alexandria - Rehab Ismail

AMF closing session at the Swedish Institute in Alexandria - By Rehab Ismail
Participants of AMF at the closing session - the Swedish Institute in Alexandria - By Rehab Ismail

The France 24 Observers EIC expresses his feedback

Thomson said that it is the first time for him to join AMF and that he is really impressed with the quality of the participants, as they ask good questions about fake news, which means they are keen and to understand and keep listening to what is said during the workshops.

Thomson lectured about some of The Observers’ tools and techniques to fact-check news for both readers and journalists.

Fact-checking tools session by The France 24 Observers Editor-in-Chief Derek Thomson - Rehab Ismail
Fact-checking tools session by The France 24 Observers Editor-in-Chief Derek Thomson - Rehab Ismail

Social media…promoting Alex Media Forum

Social media is one of the most powerful tools to promote any event and it provides people with live updates of everything happening. Thus, AMF has a social media team working 24 hours a day to cover the heavy schedule and daily activities taking place inside the forum and amongst participants.

“The social media work is divided into three parts in AMF; the first stage is when we post the open call for journalists and media students from the Arab world to apply, trying to motivate them to join and take part in the forum, teasing them with some posters and videos,” said Farah Baalbaky, AMF’s social media manager.

Baalbakyis joining the forum’s team for the second year and is responsible for the social media accounts, including Facebook and Twitter.

Farah_Balabky_AMF_social_Media_Manager-_Rehab_Ismail
Farah Baalbaky, AMF social media manager- Rehab Ismail

The second stage takes place during the forum, where we cover the forum’s activities, highlighting our trainers, speakers and participants through posts, pictures and videos; after the forum, we continue or coverage by collecting testimonies and feedback and share what the press wrote about us, Baalbakyadded.



Graphic Facilitation

As AMF is keen to provide innovation in every detail, they used graphic facilitation to document the forum’s sessions this year for the first time.

Graphic facilitation is a powerful facilitation tool that uses words, symbols and pictures to record and facilitate meetings, lectures, conferences, projects, and events.

The graphic facilitator aims to keep pace with the event, documenting its contents with speed and visual clarity. Some people call this “visual minutes”.

It simply documents discussions as they happen, providing participants with a focus and an orderly record of what has been said. It builds a visual mapping group to communicate ideas powerfully and clearly.

Graphic_Facilitation_at_AMF_-_Photo_Rehab_Ismail
Graphic facilitation at AMF - Photo by Rehab Ismail

AMF 2019…What is coming next?

AMF ended with a commitment to continue working on the forum’s theme and combating fake news, and to foster ongoing cross-cultural conversations among the participants in order to have a cultural impact.

Moreover, during the closing session, the executive director of the forum announced that the next year’s edition, which will take place in April 2019, will discuss media literacy.









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