10 Tips for Covering Today’s Protest via Social Media

 

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People readying themselves for the August 29th protests in Martyr’s Square, Beirut.

August 29, 2015, is a historical day when it comes to Lebanese activism and demands. To mark this event, we, as journalists, citizen journalists and activists, are launching a “media room’’ so as to keep this moment well alive by covering it but also to spread and share social media content from every corner of the protest.

Here are 10 essential points on how you can help through social media today:

  1. Be ready and prepared. Smartphone, spare batteries, SD Card, charger and earphones.
  2. Update your smartphones with all required updates and make sure you have the latest version of Facebook, Twitter or any social media network you use.
  3. Follow these pages in order to stay on top of any latest development: طلعت ريحتكم، عالشارع، بدنا نحاسب، محامين للمدافعة، اخبار الشارع، حلو عنا.
  4. Follow these 2 Twitter lists set up by Smex and Mashallah News to know what is happening during the protests (the lists will be continuously updated throughout the day). Hashtags will be those already popular online such as: #طلعت_ريحتكم #لبنان_ينتفض. Contact us through Twitter to add anyone to those lists.
  5. When interacting with protesters, do not forget you are one of them. Ask questions, share and express your opinion on what you are witnessing, through the available means and mediums. Here some examples of questions you can ask:
  • Why are you here (what are you protesting for / against?)
  • From where are you coming?
  • What do you hope to achieve?
  • What is the most important change you are demanding from the government?
  • Why do you think some people are not taking part to the protest? What do you think are their fears? What could convince them to join us?
  • Describe the protest in one word.
  • What do you think will be the result of this protest?
  • Is the first time you take part in a protest?
  1. Due to network congestion, we could be disconnected from the net. Keep doing your job, take photos, videos and write texts on your smartphones.
  2. Install FireChat on your phone to share your content, by using the hashtag #MediaRoom so that we can access your content and publish it on Facebook and Twitter. We should be able to verify your ID. For that, we recommend you to use the same username you have on Twitter.
  3. You may also distance yourself from the masses so you can get connected to another network in order to publish your content online.
  4. Expats can also help by sharing content or translating whatever is posted online to any language or even by following mainstream media coverage and informing us about it through FireChat via #MediaRoom.
  5. Don’t forget to prepare yourself logistically. These are some advices here, and learn how to protect yourself from tear gas. In case you get arrested, you should know your rights. Scream your name so that other can hear you and know what is happening to you, and save this hotline, set up by lawyers for legal assistance: 78935579.
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