Study on environmental journalism in the Arab world via ReliefWeb

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Terms of References

As covering environmental news is a real challenge for journalists, the MediaLab Environment project aims to support the necessary evolutions to strengthen the inclusion of environmental issues in the media production of 6 targeted countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan.

Conducting a study on environmental journalism in these countries will provide a better understanding of how information on environmental issues is produced, in order to identify prospects for action to increase and improve the spreading of news on these subjects.

Environmental journalism consists of written, photo, audio or video (online, printed, TV or radio) articles or news reports about topics related to environment; i.e.:

  • Human activities’ impact on environment: pollution (water, air, earth), waste, pesticides, agriculture, farming, consumption, natural resources exploitation, transports, etc.

  • Consequences of the environment on health’s deterioration, economy, migration, biodiversity, etc.

  • Ecological initiatives and actions of activist in favour of the environment

  • Conferences and science reports on environment.

This study will take place along the course of the MediaLab Environment project and will be presented during MediaLab Environment final conference (October 2021) and shared with the partners.

Therefore, the study should draw upon the activities of the project [see Annex] and rely on the journalists and medias taking part of them.

1. Purpose of the study

1.1 Specific goals

– Set an inventory of environmental journalism in the 6 countries by answering the following questions:

· Where do environmental issues stand among the topics covered by the media of those countries?

  • Identify trends for the past 3 years and during the course of the project (2017-2021);

  • Analyse of the evolutions in terms of quantity, formats and subjects;

  • Highlight gender specificities, especially the proportion of subjects tackling women issues and subjects produced by women.

· What type of media chooses to specifically tackle environmental subjects in those countries?

  • Map existing media initiatives aiming to inform about environmental issues and/or to raise awareness;

  • Analyse the identity of the structures bearing those initiatives (what type of media? what business model? background of the journalists? which public? which social networks? what languages?);

  • Identify good practices, success story, opportunity (employment), challenges, and the needs of these media;

  • Present case studies, including at least one media taking part of the project per country;

  • Highlight gender specificities, namely the position of women as a journalist and women as a subject within those media.

· What are the main complementary resources producing information on environmental issues in those countries?

  • Map the main NGOs with most influence on general audience in term of environmental awareness

  • Map the main organisations (local, international, governmental) producing content about environmental issues;

  • List the programs aiming to support media with the coverage of environmental issues, if there is any.

– Provide recommendations on prospects for action to increase and improve the media coverage of environmental issues

In order to meet these objectives, field missions including meetings and interviews with local actors can be considered. They will have to be detailed in the technical proposal and in the budget.

1.2 Expected results

– Analysis of the position held by environmental issues within the media landscape of the 6 targeted countries;

– Mapping of the resources providing information on environment in each of the 6 countries in order to identify the stakeholders of this sector;

– Analysis of success or failure factors of the media initiatives to cover environment, and a diagnosis of their identity, through in-depth interviews with actors who represent the diversity of the sector and data analysis;

– Operational recommendations towards a better coverage of environmental issues.

This study is meant to be an important resource to capitalize on the results of the MediaLab Environment project and potentially prepare the continuity of the project.

2. Methodology and expected deliverables

2.1 Deliverables

The study could be conducted by an independent expert or by a group of experts presenting a common offer.

– Scoping phase

This phase is meant to strengthen the work hypothesis proposed in the technical offer and to detail the methodology, on the basis of the first discussions with CFI.

Deliverable 1: A scoping note summing up the stakes of the study, to be submitted before the initial meeting. It should define the methodology (inventory methodology, field missions…), introduce the analytical tools (matrix, sampling …) and detail the executive calendar.

– Analysis of the first observations phase

The aim is to report on initial observations and to draw up a mid-term assessment of the resulting trends, particularly in terms of diagnosis. This progress note will be the occasion to exchange with CFI, which will be useful for the implementation of the project as such and to confirm the orientations to be followed in order to continue the study.

Deliverable 2: A mid-term note exposing the state of the study and the first results, especially the initial diagnosis.

– Strenghtened data analysis phase

This phase consists in analysing the data collected during the study (initial diagnosis, interviews, observation of contents), in order to draw conclusions on lessons learnt in terms of environmental information covering in the targeted countries, and to propose appropriate recommendations to improve this news covering. A temporary report is submitted to CFI, so that an initial exchange can take place to build on this work for possible needs for additions or clarifications.

Deliverable 3 : A temporary report of fifty pages maximum.

Deliverable 4: The final study, fifty pages minimum (without annexes), plus executive summary and annexes.

2.2 Forecast calendar

  • Questions about the terms of references can be sent to [email protected] : before March 20th 2020

  • End of submission of tenders: March 31st, 2020, 8:00 pm

  • Announcement of chosen tender: April 23rd,2020

  • Scoping meeting: April 30th, 2020

  • Handover of the scoping note: May 7th, 2020 – Output 1

  • Scoping note validation: May 14th, 2020

  • Course of the study: April 2020 – July 2021

  • Mid-term meeting: October 2020 – Output 2

  • Handover of the temporary report : May 2021 – Output 3

  • Handover of the study: July 2021 – Output 4

  • Feedback meeting: August 2021


The MediaLab Environment project

The impacts of environmental issues on life, society, health, the economy, etc. make it crucial for the people to understand them. However, it is a complex topic difficult to report on, so its coverage is a real challenge for journalists.

The MediaLab Environment project proposes to support the inclusion of environmental issues into media production in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan, through training and editorial support.

The MediaLab Environment project includes several activities: awareness, training and support for content production, exchanges and capitalization.

The media taking part to the activities will have to be monitored with special care, and at least one of these media per country will have to be the subject of a case study.
The activities are the following:

  • Investigations for the elaboration of 6 thematic news reports by 6 journalists who will be trained by experts and monitored by an editorial coordinator;

  • Audio and video coverage on environment through a solution journalism lens, by 30 journalists trained by experts and monitored by media partner, with an award for the 5 best reportages;

  • Production of educational videos on environmental issues addressed to children, by 6 media trained and monitored by experts.

About CFI

CFI, the French media development agency, provides support to media organisations as development actors across several continents. A subsidiary of France Médias Monde and an operator of the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, the agency is currently working on around 30 projects that fall under three major programmes: Media and Governance, Media and Business, Media and Development.

CFI supports actors in the media sector (TV, radio, written press, social media), both public and private, in order to strengthen the processes of democratisation that France wishes to promote. The agency works alongside the media and civil society actors committed to pluralist and democratic information and to sustainable development.

How to apply

3. Conditions for submission of tender

The tender has to be sent by mail to: [email protected] on March 31st, 2020, 8:00pm at the latest. It will consist of:

  • A technical proposal showing the comprehension of the Terms of References by the consultant. It should explain the intended methodology to conduct the study; outline the suggested detailed planning of the mission and corresponding milestones; present the assessment team and organization of the study: tasks distribution with related curriculum vitae for each expert in charge. The knowledge of Arabic by at least one of the consultant is mandatory. The study shall be written in English or French.

  • A financial offer presenting a complete detailed budget with allocation by tasks, including field mission, for a total budget of 24900€ maximum (excluding tax).

The tender will be evaluated according to:

  • Comprehension of the terms of reference…………………………………………………………….25

  • Quality of methodology ……………………………………………………………………………………..…30

  • Qualifications of the assessment team and experience of similar assessments …….30

  • Cost of the service excluding tax) …………………………………………………………..…………..…15

The tender with the highest total will be selected. It is to be noted that the contract will not necessarily be awarded to the candidate who asks for the lowest price.