A new oil supply was recently discovered off the coast of Lebanon, raising new discussions about the country's oil and gas sector.
For three Beirut journalists, that sector will be the focus of a special reporting project. The oil and gas reporting project is carried out through a mentoring partnership between UPI Next and Sam Houston State University's Global Center for Journalism and Democracy. The Center was founded at the Texas university in September 2012.
The reporting project comes on the heels of a special training on oil and gas reporting, hosted by the Global Center for Journalism and Democracy, March 15-17 in Beirut. During the training, Beirut-based journalists met first-hand with industry experts, environmentalists and journalists to talk about the topic and gain a foundation of knowledge on the subject.
Kelli Arena, director of the Center, said Sam Houston State decided to partner with UPI Next to follow up on the training. "The Global Center for Journalism and Democracy decided to fund the mentoring because we know that training can only go so far," Arena wrote in an email. "It is always helpful to work with journalists as they put what they've learned into practice.
Three Beirut journalists will recieve mentoring for three months and work toward completing oil and gas-related features, as well as other stories.
Participating journalists include Rana Andraos, lead economics reporter with the French-language Lebanese daily L'Orient-Le Jour, Christine El Cheikh, who has reported from Lebanon and Iraq, and Justin Salhani, reporter with NOW News in Lebanon.