Since its inception, the SAMAR Media project has been inspired by the hopes and sacrifices of those who took part in the Arab uprisings. SAMAR is also a response to the transformations arising from the dawn of the digital age.
SAMAR believes that in order to overcome the immense challenges faced by current and aspiring citizens of the Arab world there is a need for a new kind of platform, where they can access free and quality information, but also produce, create and exchange without restrictions. SAMAR appreciates that media can no longer operate in a top-down manner, where the broadcaster provides content to a passive audience that has no means of control over it. SAMAR is eager to foster and promote innovation, as well as the heritage and culture of the Arab world and Arab diaspora in its diversity.
Therefore, SAMAR defines itself as a web video media and a community of web Citizens. The rights, obligations and guidelines determining the relations between SAMAR Citizens and their media are detailed below.
SAMAR CITIZEN COMMUNITY
a. Definition of SAMAR Citizenship
SAMAR Citizenship is defined as a set of rights, obligations and practices which are shared by individuals who are active on the web and believe that the production and exchange of quality information, knowledge and culture is crucial in empowering Arab citizens, and shaping the new Arab region and its relations with the world. Trust in the power of arts, culture, and the value of constructive exchanges and debates whilst respecting people’s diverse origins, identities and beliefs stands at the heart of SAMAR Citizenship.
Each SAMAR Citizen joins a community of active and responsible equals who come from a wide variety of backgrounds but share the aforementioned values.
SAMAR Citizenship will be enjoyed primarily on the Internet through the SAMAR platform and other applications offered by SAMAR, but also in the real world through live events and initiatives organised or sponsored by SAMAR.
b. Rights of SAMAR Citizens
i. SAMAR video production
Each SAMAR Citizen is offered unlimited access to all the videos produced by SAMAR, which are made available on the SAMAR platform in accordance with the terms and conditions of use and the copyright notice.
SAMAR Citizens are also invited to vote and comment on the editorial projects considered by SAMAR. SAMAR Citizens are asked to assess the quality of SAMAR videos in dedicated spaces on the SAMAR platform.
ii. SAMAR Citizen posting & sharing
SAMAR Citizens are also entitled and encouraged to post, share, and comment on non-SAMAR video content in the dedicated spaces on the SAMAR platform.
iii. SAMAR Citizen video production and picks
Upon approval from SAMAR, each Citizen can share their own video productions and video picks in the dedicated spaces, all in accordance with the copyright notices for the production and publication of such video productions.
iv. User Account
Each Citizen is provided with a user account through which they will be able to log in to the SAMAR platform.
The SAMAR Citizen account offers several facilities, including an internal personal email account which allows them to communicate with fellow Citizens, and the ability to share informative and fun video content with other SAMAR Citizens.
v. Activity: point system
SAMAR Citizens are encouraged to be active on the SAMAR platform, for example by commenting, rating or sharing SAMAR’s videos, and producing, posting and sharing non-SAMAR videos.
A point system is in place in order to evaluate the activity of each SAMAR Citizen. At the end of each year the most-active SAMAR Citizens will be ranked and rewarded.
c. Becoming a SAMAR Citizen
SAMAR Citizenship is free and open to all web-connected individuals over the age of 15 with a relation to or an interest in the Arab world. Aspiring SAMAR Citizens can join HERE.
d. Term of SAMAR citizenship
SAMAR Citizenship is offered for a year. Unless either SAMAR or the SAMAR Citizen indicates otherwise, the SAMAR Citizenship is renewed automatically at the end of each year.
e. Termination of SAMAR Citizenship
If a SAMAR Citizen wishes to terminate their Citizenship, they can do it at any time via SAMAR REGISTRATION PAGE.
SAMAR Citizenship can only be terminated by SAMAR in case of breach of SAMAR’s Rules of Conduct, as defined below. Such a breach can be either identified by SAMAR or reported by SAMAR Citizens. When a breach is identified, a notification will be sent by SAMAR to the Citizen who is in violation of SAMAR Rules of Conduct. The Citizen will be given the opportunity to reply to the allegations against them. SAMAR will then decide on the right sanction to be applied:
- if the alleged breach is judged to be non-existent or made with ulterior motives, the Citizen will be cleared;
- if the breach is confirmed the Citizen will be blamed and restricted from any activity on SAMAR’s platform for a week;
- if the breach proves to be a very serious violation of the Rules of Conduct applicable to SAMAR Citizens, the SAMAR Citizenship of the wrongdoer will be immediately and irrevocably terminated.
f. Rules of Conduct applicable to SAMAR Citizens
SAMAR’s platform is a forum dedicated to the exchange of all forms of information, knowledge, and culture. SAMAR champions freedom of expression as long as thoughts and opinions are expressed while respecting other Citizens’ differences, identities and beliefs.
Insults, libel, bullying, the apologies for crime or violence, and sexist, homophobic or racist comments should be immediately reported to SAMAR and can justify the immediate termination of SAMAR Citizenship as provided in article 1.e.
The posting or sharing of pornographic or violent content is totally forbidden on SAMAR’s platform, and can similarly justify the immediate termination of SAMAR Citizenship as provided in article 1.e.
While the expression of religious or political views are welcome as part of the debates and exchanges held on SAMAR platform, SAMAR will not tolerate religious or political propaganda on any of the spaces open to its Citizens.
Should a Citizen have any doubts about any content they wish to post or share, they are strongly encouraged to ask for SAMAR’s GUIDANCE HERE.
g. Guidelines applicable to SAMAR Citizens
Each SAMAR Citizen acknowledges that the quality of SAMAR’s video production depends to a large extent on its Citizens’ feedback. They are therefore strongly encouraged to provide SAMAR with their votes, comments, and suggestions with regards to SAMAR’s editorial projects, and assess the videos produced by SAMAR.
Each SAMAR Citizen acknowledges that SAMAR is not backed by any government, political or religious group, or any substantial funder, and that the frequency, diversity, and independence of its production highly depends on its capacity to find Advertisers and Donors. SAMAR’s financial viability and growth is therefore subject to its Citizens’ awareness and activism in spreading the word about SAMAR programmes and projects and encouraging potential Advertisers and Donors to support SAMAR financially.
Each SAMAR Citizen acknowledges that the success of SAMAR is also highly dependent on the capacity of its Citizens to promote it outside of SAMAR circles, including on existing and new social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedn, Google +, etc.).
a. SAMAR video production
SAMAR produces and broadcasts videos on the web on Arab-related topics. All these videos are systematically made available in Arabic, English and French.
b. SAMAR editorial line
SAMAR commits to an independent, diverse, innovative and entertaining editorial line, as long as it fits within its editorial ambition, which can be summarized as follows:
- to address the realities and underlying dynamics at work in the Arab world that mainstream media fails to tackle properly
- to promote a more positive image of the Arab world and its inhabitants by putting forward inspiring people and innovative projects
SAMAR defines itself as an Arab media open to the world. It is therefore inclined to cover issues related to the Arab region, its people, and its diaspora in a way that is appealing to a universal audience. SAMAR is conscious that the Arab region is richly diverse. SAMAR therefore also commits to respect and promote ethnic and religious diversity, along with the minorities established in the Arab world.
SAMAR videos are all made available to SAMAR Citizens via SAMAR platform. The broadcast of SAMAR videos can, however, also be organized through other channels and media outlets in order to enhance their circulation and exposure.
SAMAR’s funding shall be used to enable SAMAR video production as well as the development of SAMAR’s platform and the growth of the SAMAR Citizen community.
SAMAR’s funding is provided by the sponsorship of its videos and the selling of advertisement spaces on SAMAR platform. The sources of funding for SAMAR production are totally transparent and shared with SAMAR Citizens, as they are clearly identified on SAMAR’s videos and platform. Donations of limited amounts are also accepted and encouraged. Finally, occasional crowd funding campaigns may be launched for the purposes of a particular project.
e. Social responsibility
While profit-making, SAMAR wishes to become an ethical and socially responsible media, working for the best interests of the SAMAR Citizen community.
SAMAR’s transparency and accountability towards its Citizens will ensure that it doesn’t deviate from its original goals: to inform, empower, and entertain in an intelligent way. SAMAR Citizens will also be able to judge that SAMAR profits are reinvested internally in order to provide SAMAR Citizens with the best media and digital citizenship experience. SAMAR wants its development to be beneficial to its Citizens and SAMAR community as a whole. A substantial proportion of SAMAR annual benefits will be transferred to NGOs or social initiatives acting locally in the Arab region, selected by SAMAR and its Citizens. These organizations will also benefit from enhanced exposure on the SAMAR platform under the section WE SUPPORT.