Media for Peace: Trilingual Digital Magazine

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Media for Peace: Trilingual Digital Magazine

Israel
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$500,000 - $1 million
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Eretz Acheret is building a Media for Peace, changing social discourse by highlighting the vision of Israel's moderate majority.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The mainstream, for-profit media in Israel exacerbates conflict by highlighting extremism in every social sector. The mantra “if it bleeds it leads” has created a media culture that gives disproportionate voice to fringe elements in societal groups in order to boost ratings. One of the great tragedies within this reality is the silencing of moderate voices within each camp. Indeed, both Arab and Jewish societies are actually dominated by a non-violent culture that shares a vision of society: that is, to lead a normal, quiet life of prosperity. The moderate majority across sectors has a common culture and ideology around family life, community, and tradition. But the mainstream media fails to give expression to this common ideology, because it is not considered “interesting”. The eight million people in Israel deserve to have this common ideology vocalized and defined.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The solution to this problem is to create a “Media for Peace”, a not-for-profit digital media that is driven not by ratings but by the mission of drawing out the voices of the moderate majority across social sectors and enabling people to humanize the “other”. Media for Peace is about using the tools of investigative journalism to draw out the deep and profound stories of real life in Israel across social sectors, emphasizing people’s visions of peaceful, prosperous life in Israel rather than the violent actions of fanatic extremists. The solution is a tri-lingual (English-Arabic-Hebrew) on-line magazine with powerful content that looks deeply at life across social sectors and focuses on the common human values around the desire for a “normal” life. The not-for-profit Media for Peace, giving voice to the moderate majority across social sectors, will not only restore balance within the media, but will also empower non-violent communities and groups by creating a more visible, defined presence within Israel, helping groups humanize one another and pave the way for peace.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

The project uses a tri-lingual on-line magazine (English-Arabic-Hebrew) and the tools of investigative journalism to create a public discourse around common values and visions. The project will:  Build a unique tri-lingual digital magazine platform and infrastructure that allows for translation of articles, multiple-language forums and discussions  Conduct investigative journalism that highlights the lives and work of people, groups and communities that are invested in building a non-violent society, thus promoting a “human” face across social sectors  Upload weekly content – print and video – in three languages  Promote continuing conversation using social media
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

There are many not-for-profit groups using tools of education to humanize the “other” in order to bring peace. Educational initiatives are crucial, but they need tools of media as well. This project works symbiotically with educational programs, enabling the educational values to reach the general public and spreading the impact. There is currently no tri-lingual media outlet in Israel. There is also no other not-for-profit media in Israel. Some groups produce occasional magazines. But there is no organization whose primary purpose is the creation of a not-for-profit media dedicated to instilling a language of peace into the public discourse.
About You
Organization:
Eretz Acheret ("A Different Land")
About You
About Your Organization
Organization Name

Eretz Acheret ("A Different Land")

Organization Country
Country where this project is creating social impact

, J

How long has your organization been operating?

More than 5 years

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Innovation
Select the stage that best applies to your solution

Established (you've got demonstrated success)

How long have you been in operation?

Operating for more than 5 years

Social Impact
FOUNDING STORY: We want to hear about your “Aha!” moment. Share the story of where and when the founder(s) saw this solution’s potential to change the world.

Bambi Sheleg was a widely respected journalist and editor in Israel when Prime Minister Yizhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995. Like everyone, she was shaken, but even more so because the assassin cited his religious ideology as a motive for his heinous act. After all, she, too, came from the Orthodox Jewish world. As a member of the media, she felt particularly responsible. Following the assassination, Bambi quit her job and embarked on three years soul-searching. She realized that the need to sell papers had driven the media to highlight fanaticism across Israel. Bambi determined to change that: to shift public discourse, reduce violent sectarianism, and promote media reform. Bambi’s personal transformation forged a mission to create a new media that is not profit-seeking but solely interested in building a different dialogue within society based on common humanitarian values, human rights, equality and social justice. Thus Eretz Acheret was born.

Specify both the depth and scale of your solution’s social impact to date

The bi-monthly Eretz Acheret magazine has impacted laws, governmental policies, and justice. It has been cited in Supreme Court cases, has generated parliamentary debates and is regularly consulted by various ministries. Magazines are also used as texts in universities graduate courses for social work, public policy and more. There are 35,000 regular readers and another 7,000 on-line readers – including a disproportionate number of 20-something readers (30% of the readership), an astounding finding that bucks international media trends. It is read across social sectors, and has a very long shelf-life.

What is your projected impact within the next 1-5 years? Is your idea replicable? If so, how?

By the end of five years, we plan to have:
* 100,000 visitors per month
* marked impact on social policy and governance – citations in parliamentary debates and drafts of legislation, for example
* impact on mainstream media – writers and informants recruited by the mainstream media for stories and coverage

We believe and hope that this idea will be replicated, that media outlets around the region will adopt this approach of media for peace, a media that replaces the for-profit model of highlighting bloodshed and extremism with a genuine search for the common vision and ethos of humanity across society.

Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and mark growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact

By the end of six months, we hope to have the infrastructure nearly ready to begin uploading content.

Six-Month Tasks
Task 1

Design the digital infrastructure that will enable a tri-lingual online magazine with text and video content and tri-lingual con

Task 2

Create the graphic design

Task 3

Test the system, conduct quality assurance

Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone

By the end of the first year, the infrastructure should be ready, writers/reporters should be ready to upload, and editors and t

12-Month Tasks
Task 1

Hire reporters, editors and translators

Task 2

Assign stories

Task 3

Edit, translate, and begin uploading content

How many people have been impacted by your project?

More than 10,000

How many people could be impacted by your project in the next three years?

More than 10,000

Sustainability
Explain how your company, program, service or product is structured

Non-profit

What barriers have hindered the success of your project to date? How do you plan to overcome these and other challenges as you grow your solution?

The main barrier to success is funding. The advantage of not-for-profit media is editorial freedom. The disadvantage is insecure funding sources. The main strategy at the moment is to continue fundraising through not-for-profit channels.

How do you see the information-technology and media sectors shifting over the next decade? How will your solution adapt to and/or drive that changing environment?

We expect trends of recent years to continue: the superficiality of media coverage, the chase after ratings, the involvement of interested parties in broadcasts and their influence on content, and the decline of investigative journalism. The result is the absence of a sincere, deep social discourse for a public engaged in complex, sophisticated issues – a process that ultimately threatens the entire democratic process. Our solution fights these trends by modeling not-for-profit, trilingual investigative journalism and sincere, engaged social discourse.

Failure is not always an option. If your solution fails to gain traction in the next two years, what other applications of the idea could you explore?

The goal of creating a not-for-profit media is crucial for democratic society. If this particular project does not gain traction, we will seek out other avenues for promoting a deep social discourse via investigative journalism aimed at humanizing conflicting parties. We will seek out alternative technologies and strong partners who share this vision. Peace in the Middle East is a long-term goal. We will continue pursuing this model for an alternative media until this goal I achieved.

Expand on your selections, explaining how you will sustain funding

Eretz Acheret relies on subscriptions and some advertising for approximately half of its budget. The rest of the budget comes from foundations, government funding (Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Education, Jerusalem Municipality), and private donations.

Tell us about your partnerships

Eretz Acheret works with many not-for profit organizations and prides itself on providing a media platform for those working in the field of social change.

What type of team (staff, volunteers, etc.) will ensure that you achieve the growth milestones identified in the Social Impact section?

In addition to Bambi's visionary leadership and a professional team of writers and editors, Eretz Acheret's volunteer board comprises leading thinkers, writers and activists from across the spectrum, including: Nazir Majally, Palestinian journalist from Nazareth; Micha Odenheimer, journalist, founder and director of Tevel B'tzedek; Yehudit Shvaig Former Director of the Sheldon Adelson Fund;Anat Tzuria, film director;Zvi Zameret,Director of the Pedagogical Center, Ministry of Education; Yoav Artzieli, Lawyer and Director of Gavison-Medan Covenant

Changemakers is a collaborative and supportive space. Please specify any community resources you would need to grow and sustain your initiative. Select all that apply

Investment, Collaboration or networking, Pro-bono help (legal, financial, etc.).

Specify any resources you might offer to support other initiatives. Select all that apply

Human resources or talent, Marketing or media, Research or information, Collaboration or networking, Mentorship.

Please elaborate on any needs or offers you have mentioned above and/or suggest categories of support that aren’t specified within the list

Eretz Acheret can offer exposure to ideas and innovations of other people working on social change and peace in the Middle East.

Summary
Define your company, program, service or product in 1-2 short sentences

Eretz Acheret is an independent not-for-profit magazine that advances the moral and social development of Israeli society.