Capturing the Moment: August 4, 2020


A video recording of this program is now available on the Explore Content section of this website.

August 4, 2020 marked a horrific day in the Lebanese capital of Beirut. This event was broadcasted around the world from and because of smartphones. People took to their phones to understand what was happening, to gather facts, organize funding, arrange help and find missing people. Footage caught through smartphone cameras changed Lebanon forever—the politics, the architecture and the social fabric of the country. Smartphones captured chilling footage of the incident in real time, people filming and sharing first-person narratives through the internet and social media.

In this program we invite back two people who joined The Media Majlis in 2019 for our program As Seen Onscreen to help unpack this awful event. Both investigative filmmaker and video journalist Tilo Gummel and CNN journalist Anchal Vohra, were in Beirut on August 4. Has their opinion of the smartphone’s role in journalism changed? And how did this affect their bias in telling stories? This program will be moderated by Northwestern Qatar’s Dean and CEO, Marwan M. Kraidy, who was born in Lebanon.

[Image: Elizabeth Fitt/Alamy Live News]

  • Program credits

    Tilo Gummel

    Tilo Gummel is an investigative filmmaker and video journalist. In his two decades in the industry, he has worked on more than two dozen documentaries that won him 16 national and international film awards for networks including Germany’s ARD, ZDF and ARTE, and US Public TV broadcaster P.B.S. His film Child slaves—Kindersklaven (2008) received a nomination for the Emmys in the current affairs category and the CNN Award for Best Reportage, among other awards. He reported on the fall of ISIS from Baghouz and Raqqa. He was based in India for 11 years and now lives in Beirut. 

    Anchal Vohra

    Anchal Vohra (moderator) has been Deutsche Welle’s Middle East Correspondent since 2016 as well as a writer for Foreign Policy, New Statesman, Berlin Policy Journal and several other publications. She is a fellow of the Observer Research Foundation, an Indian thinktank. Previous positions have included as Senior News Anchor and Foreign Affairs Editor at CNN IBN, now CNN News18—the Indian affiliate of CNN International. She was also a News Anchor and Chief Correspondent for NDTV in India. Vohra is based in Beirut, Lebanon.

    Marwan Kraidy

    Marwan M. Kraidy is a scholar of global communication and an authority on Arab media, culture and politics. An interdisciplinary scholar, Kraidy’s research focuses on the relationships between culture and geopolitics, theories of identity and modernity, and global media systems and industries. His is the author of the award-winning book The Naked Blogger of Cairo (2016) along with over 100 essays and book chapters. He earned his bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Notre-Dame University in Louaizé, Lebanon, and his master’s and PhD, in mass communication, from Ohio University. He is Dean and CEO of Northwestern Qatar.