Well, if Facebook can rebrand and change its name to Meta (which funnily enough means “dead” in Hebrew) then we too can change our slogan from “Promoting and documenting Palestine” (which we will still do) to “A credible source of information on Palestine.”
When you’re around as long as we (This Week in Palestine) have been, it is only natural for people to expect a new look. Maybe more emphasis on the digital and virtual, or captivating topics with more societal engagement? Essentially, something that would re-attract readers’ attention and hopefully prompt increasing re-engagement.
Not only do we acknowledge the above, but also – to add to our challenges – we are fully aware of the impact of social media on the promotion and advertising of commodities, institutions, and even ideas. And that at a low cost. Although, our sustainability thus far has depended on fees earned in return for exposure and visibility, we know that even our holy grail, our current business model, needs some tweaking. To say the least!
For objectivity’s sake, however, and, okay, in our defense, I’d like to say the following: First, for quite some time now, whenever we upload an issue online, we consider that monthly edition to be officially out. We’re still producing the printed edition, not only to keep a two-decades-long tradition going but also for those who prefer to hold a publication in their hands, rather than reading it online (you know to whom I’m referring!). Our commitment to going digital and virtual is going ahead at full speed. Incidentally, the theme of TWiP’s upcoming December 2021 issue is “Promoting Palestinian Tourism – Digitally and Virtually.” Also, starting with this November issue, every single article will have a QR-code that opens its online version. The idea is to give people the opportunity to copy that link and send it off to anyone, via WhatsApp, for example.
In my opinion, 2021 witnessed some of the most powerful issues we have ever put out. Some of the themes we tackled this year are very much in touch with our society, and they include “19th Century Palestine,” “West Jerusalem,” “Our Environment,” “Sumud,” “Women’s Empowerment,” “Media,” and “Caring for Our Children.” The October issue was particularly bold, with “Rule of Law” as its theme. To update our look and visual presentation, we launched a new website site last year, and – with humility – I believe that the presentation and layout of TWiP’s articles are up to international standards. It is worth mentioning as well that we take confidence from our clients who have chosen This Week in Palestine as a communication tool. They include UNICEF, UNDP/PAPP, UNESCO, Mr. Munib R. Masri, UN-Women, OXFAM, Care International, UN-Habitat, the International Committee of the Red Cross, The Palestinian Museum, Bank of Palestine, Jawwal, Fadaat Media, Women’s Center for Legal Aid and Counselling–WCLAC, Bethlehem University, to name just a few among many others.
Concerning the holy grail, our business model, we believe that as we have amassed thousands of professionally edited non-news articles, it is time for us to rebrand and market ourselves as a source of credible information about Palestine. The idea is that if you’re seeking a credible and novel piece of information on Palestine, This Week in Palestine is where you should look.
Of course, we have our shortcomings; after all, it is the one who works who makes mistakes. But I hope that we have learned from them – and we are always happy to have your input.
Finally, I’m happy to announce that once the December 2021 issue is uploaded, the website will include a prototype of the search engine we have been working on for some time. Users will be able to choose a category (from about 70) to get a list of the articles that have been published on that topic. Once we are satisfied with the results, we will go ahead and upload our 23-year archive online. We need and appreciate your support to help finance and complete this project!
Long live Palestine!
By Sani Meo