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Jemstone is a development and communications consultancy, operating mostly in the Middle East and Europe from a base in Jordan. There is a UK-registered consultancy, the Jemstone Network Ltd and a not-for-profit foundation in The Netherlands, Stichting JourNetwork. Jemstone stands for Journalism in the Euro-Med region: Strategy, Training, Organisation and Networks.

Overall 'supporting media, supporting development' is the neatest description of our activities. In early 2001 we provided media consultancy and workshops for Al Jazeera Satellite TV, training their presenters, correspondents, studio directors and video editors. At the other end of our work-spectrum we operate the biggest development web-site in Jordan, in co-operation first with DFID, now with the United Nations. We have taken a leading role in publicising the Millennium Development Goals and we created the ground-breaking "Volunteer Match" section of the web-site. In between we have organised workshops for the Dutch Development Minister on investigative journalism in Jordan, Yemen and Egypt. We also advised the World Bank on their Global Knowledge initiative and we oversaw media relations at the Bank's Mediterranean Development Forum in Cairo in 2000.

The Jemstone Network covers well over 1,500 media professionals and sixty of the main media organisations in the MENA/Gulf region. They came together initially in the mid 1990s as part of the European Union's Med Media programme and have grown into the biggest media training and development network in the region, based in Amman, Jordan, with projects from the Dutch, British, Danish and Finnish governments as well as the World Bank and UNDP. Jemstone events have been held in all the Arab countries of the Eastern Mediterranean, plus Malta, Morocco, Yemen and Qatar, as well as Holland, Belgium, France and the United Kingdom.

The job of the good journalist is to find out what's going on, to understand it and then to let people know about it, as interestingly and accurately as possible. Jemstone works at every stage of this process.

Jemstone runs masterclasses in media skills: TV set design; studio directing; VT-picture editing; news presenting; political cartooning; Arabic-language writing; radio production; forward planning; photo-journalism; web-publishing.

We organise Round Tables to confront the tough issues: 'Images of Islam in the West'; 'Saudi Influence in the Arab Media'; 'Islam and Economic Development'; 'Global Media and Local Identity'; 'The Role of the Journalist in Conflict'; 'Investigative Journalism in Repressive Societies'.

Upgrading the media means strengthening management, with seminars on: advanced internet; establishing and running training departments; the management of change; audience and readership research; organisational re-engineering; financial management systems; leadership and team-building.

Jemstone is a specialist in specialist journalism including: business, economics and finance; reporting on Europe; the media; the environment; education; sport; health. As well as running courses in general, basic, good journalism -- editing, reporting and researching skills.

Also consultancy on: media relations strategy; journalistic ethics; training needs analysis; conflict resolution; mid-career development; communications and presentation; web-site design.

And we have a communications for development dimension, to handle all the publicity, media strategy and report-writing needs of development organisations and ngos.

In late 1996 Jemstone set up the first inter-active media web-site in the region, with discussion forums in both Arabic and English. The site now includes a 'journalinks' section, giving immediate access to hundreds of key web-sites for local media. Jemstone published the only English-language newspaper at the Cairo MENA Economic Summit in autumn 1996. The Jemstone Magazine and Report, published in mid 1997 in both English and Arabic, addressed many of the most pressing media issues facing the region.

The Syrian Arab News Agency established an economics department after sending journalists to one of our economic workshops. We have produced short booklets in Arabic and English on investigative and independent journalism, also on our web-site www.jemstone.net. We have organised exchange visits for media professionals, provided consultancy advice to media organisations and others and evolved from a European-led project into a locally-based Euro-MENA-Gulf media network.

Jemstone projects have been funded and supported by:
The European Union, the World Bank, UNDP, the Dutch Government, the British Government, the Finnish Government, the Danish Government, PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Friedrich Naumann Stiftung, DFID, Egypt National Parks, BBC, GCC, Al Jazeera Satellite TV, As Safir in Lebanon, Al Ahram in Cairo, Jordan TV and many other organisations in MENA and the Gulf.

Jemstone activities over the past five years in chronological order:

  • 1997-99 EU Med Media Project, based in Amman, Jordan, though operating throughout the region. In an increasingly tense and suspicious political atmosphere, the object remained to raise the media's technical, managerial and journalistic skills, to create networks of Euro-Med media professionals and additionally to seek opportunities for creative co-funding. The project ran fifteen events in eight countries attended by almost 400 media professionals and increased the network of active partner organisations in the region to over 60.
  • 1999-2000 Global Knowledge Partnership, the aim of the World Bank's GKP was to " help people everywhere to broaden access to the knowledge and technology they need to live meaningful and fruitful lives". Jemstone was brought in as media and communication consultants to advise on strategy and generate interest in the GK2 conference in Malaysia and a preparatory event in Addis Ababa.
  • 1999-2000 Mediterranean Development Forum, MDF was a Bank initiative to provide a forum where development of the Mediterranean region could be discussed and supported. MDF3 in Cairo in 2000 had the theme "Voices for Change, Partners for Prosperity". Jemstone was responsible for media relations before and during MDF3, as well as contributing to the overall planning and strategy for MDF3.
  • 1999-->ongoing www.jordandevnet.org is the biggest searchable development web-site in Jordan, run "on behalf of the development community in Jordan", with Jemstone guaranteeing its independence and its responsiveness to ideas and proposals from the whole range of development organisations. We have also been closely involved in the design and development of the site, which incorporates many recent web-site innovations.
  • 1999-2001 Investigative Journalism Workshops, the first of their kind, in Jordan, Egypt and Yemen. The main aim was to to strengthen and improve independent journalism, in the light of comments from the World Bank President: "if there is no searchlight on corruption and inequitable practices you cannot build the public consensus needed to bring about change". As we stated in our formal proposal: "It is important therefore to increase the media's capacity to fulfil this role, while at the same time demonstrating to doubters why this new function for the media is so important."
  • 2000-01 EU-GCC media co-operation implementation study to advise on how to establish a pilot project, including proposals for an initial media training and co-operation programme.
  • 2001 Al Jazeera Training Workshops conducted for the satellite TV broadcaster during the first half of 2001 at their headquarters in Qatar, (working with their presenters, foreign correspondents, broadcast journalists, video editors, studio directors and producers). In addition to the training we provided detailed feedback to Al Jazeera on future development options and a series of media and journalistic handbooks based on the workshops.
  • 2001-04 EU Project -- Media Pioneers Revisited is based in Jordan and Holland, re-connecting journalists who had first met as part of Jemstone's Med Media projects. The summary in the original proposal sets out the objective of the action:
    " To trace journalists and media professionals who took part during the 1990s in our training events. To interview them and their senior managers about the impact of that experience and to canvass opinions from this group of media pioneers about the way forward. On the basis of this survey we would run follow-up events, with particular emphasis on the economic benefits of peace and the creation of networks, with internet support. We are not aware of any other project at this time running these kind of activities with a wide range of working journalists.
  • 2001 Development communication workshops run in Amman to increase the capacity of development organisations to influence the public and policy-makers by more effective communications.
  • 2002 Investigative Journalist of the Year Award, for the best story from a local journalist attending our investigative workshop in Jordan. The aim of this action was to build on our earlier experiences and to make the workshop even more practical, based entirely around the production of well-researched, interesting stories. Our panel of judges included the Middle East Editor of The Guardian, an Emmy-winning Dutch TV journalist, plus Rami Khouri, Randa Habbib and Salameh Nematt from Jordan.
  • 2002 Jordan Volunteer of the Year Award was devised as a way of highlighting the role of volunteers in development and involved us in travelling to many parts of Jordan as well as organising both the launch and award ceremonies in Amman. This also proved to be a creative way of publicising the Volunteer Match section of www.jordandevnet.org.
  • 2003 Millennium Development Goals, the aim of this project, based in Amman, is to "increase awareness in Jordan of the MDGs, to demonstrate the leading role of UNDP in advancing the goals and to initiate a debate on the implications of the MDGs for Jordan".
    We have commissioned and published (in both Arabic and English) eight provocative, journalistic articles, one on each of the development goals, with the aim of stimulating debate. Several of them have also been reprinted in local newspapers. We have drawn up a draft action plan and have an outreach strategy, to discuss the articles in informal groups around Jordan and then post summaries of the groups' questions and conclusions alongside the original articles. Some unprompted debate has begun on the MDG web-site but this will require more'facilitating'.
  • 2006-2008 News for young people ShababNews      This is the logo:

 

 
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