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‘Media and Migration’ at the 47èmes Assises de la Presse Francophone

Dr. Maria Bou Zeid, Chairperson of the Department of Media Studies at NDU, represented the Lebanese Research Center for Migration and Diaspora Studies (LERC) at the 47èmes Assises de la Presse Francophone organized by the Union de Presse Francophone (UPF) at Tsaghadzor in Armenia.
Dr. Bou Zeid pronounced the keynote speech at the inaugural ceremony of the assembly for an audience of approximatively 270 journalists coming from 56 countries.

Her keynote intervention was the result of a research paper co-authored with Dr. Guita Hourani, Director of LERC, under the title “Media coverage of forced migration between utopia and pragmatism.”

The intervention maintained the importance of reconciliation in media coverage of migration issues between the sovereignty of the states and the refugees’ rights according to international laws. It focused also on the missing images of refugees in the media coverage on the international level arguing for a slight improvement after 2016. It also addressed the Lebanese experience with migration from a socio-political and media perspective reflecting its complexity and richness at the same time.

Bou Zeid also clarified the different terminologies pertaining to migration explaining the difference between migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. She concluded with recommendations that can serve as a road map for improving the media coverage of migration issues.

The 20 minutes speech was followed by a very interactive Q & A session moderated by Mr. Jean Kouchner Secretary-General of the UPF. The questions revolved mainly around the challenges that media professionals usually face when reporting about migration stories. 

Dr. Maria Bou Zeid is an Assistant Professor and the Chairperson of the Department of Media Studies at Notre Dame University-Louaize (NDU). She is also the Executive Director of the Arab Studies Institute (ASI) - Beirut Office. Dr. Bou Zeid holds a Doctorate in Media Studies from Université Paris II, Assas, Paris, France and a D.E.S. in Journalism from the Lebanese University in collaboration with the French Press Institute-IFP and the Center for the Formation and Perfecting of Journalists-CFPJ, Paris, France. Her research interests include: Media and Gender Equality and Media Ethics. She is also engaged in research on higher education in the Arab world tackling issues such as the efforts of Internationalization in the field of Higher Education in the MENA region along with the challenges that the Lebanese Education sector is currently facing. Bou Zeid has also an extensive professional experience in the field of television production and broadcast journalism.

Some of her publications include: Abouchedid, K. & Bou Zeid, M. (2017), “Internationalization in the MENA Region: A Case Study of Higher Education,” in De Wit, H, Gacel-Avila, J., Jones, E., and Jooste, N. (Eds), The Globalization of Internationalization: Emerging Voices and Perspectives (pp. 73-88), New York: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group; Abouchedid, K. & Bou Zeid, M. (2017),  “Legacy of the Past and Present Challenges,” In Kirdar, S. (Ed), Education in the Arab World (pp.59-84), London: Bloomsbury Academic;  El-Helou R. & Bou Zeid, M. (2015), “Dissonance and Decorousness: Missing Images of Syrian Women Refugees in the Lebanese Media,” in Stephan R., Hourani G., Horn C. (Eds), In Line with the Divine: The Struggle for Gender Equality in Lebanon." U.S.A.: Abelian Academic; and Bou Zeid, M. (2010). “Public health media campaigns in Lebanon: Production and perception,” Atelier National de Reproduction des Thèses, France, ISBN: 9782729583095.


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