Periods of crisis are not the moment to be stingy or reduce ambitions | #mediadev | DW | 29.03.2022
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Building media resilience

Periods of crisis are not the moment to be stingy or reduce ambitions

Resilience in the face of human-made disasters – experiences from L'Orient le Jour, Lebanon

Partial view of the damaged grain silos at the port of Lebanon's capital Beirut, almost a year after the explosion.

A drone picture shows the destruction after the explosion at the seaport of Beirut.

About L'Orient le Jour

L'Orient le Jour is a bilingual publication in Beirut, Lebanon. It publishes both print and digital versions and serves both local and diasporic Lebanese audiences. The publication is more than 100 years old and has operated throughout political upheavals, the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), the Beirut port explosion and, most recently, the devaluation of the Lebanese pound and the resulting economic turmoil.

Resilience Strategy
Resilience requires focusing simultaneously on short-, medium- and long-term challenges. Management focuses first on immediate operational needs: staff housing, transportation, batteries, laptops, and mobile phones. Medium-term issues include engaging the Board of Directors and audience to ensure their continuing support. Long-term priorities include retaining staff by securing their income-levels, security and living conditions.

Top 5 recommendations for resilience in the face of human-made disasters

  • Be transparent with your Board of Directors and funders about the financial situation and ask them to be your allies.
  • Keep cash on hand for emergencies.
  • Diversify your revenue streams. The more diversified you are, the better off you will be.
  • Focus on and support your staff. Remind your staff that what they are doing is unique, important and a form of resistance.
  • Show empathy for your audience and take steps to actively help community resilience and recovery through fundraisers and volunteering. That also improves staff morale.

"Periods of crisis are not the moment to be stingy or reduce our ambitions. Crisis is a time when you have to be aware of costs and cut costs where you can. But it’s also a moment when you need to invest."

Michel Helou, Executive Director, L'Orient le Jour

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