Arab Today, arab today once a beacon lebanese dailies lose regional sway
Last Updated : GMT 18:16:18
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

'The voice of the voiceless'

Once a beacon, Lebanese dailies lose regional sway

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Once a beacon, Lebanese dailies lose regional sway

Lebanese newspapers are suffering because of the country's political paralysis and a slump in funding from rival regional powers
Beirut - Arab Today

Its slogan was "the voice of the voiceless", but after four decades the prestigious Lebanese daily As-Safir is in danger of falling silent, illustrating the unprecedented crisis rocking the country's media.

Lebanese newspapers, long seen as a beacon of freedom in a tumultuous region, are suffering because of the country's political paralysis and a slump in funding from rival regional powers.

As-Safir's main competitor, An-Nahar, is also struggling to survive and its employees have not been paid for months.

"Our ink has run dry," said Talal Salman, founder and editor-in-chief of As-Safir. "The Lebanese press, a pioneer in the Arab world, is undergoing its worst crisis ever."

The paper has downsized from 18 to just 12 pages, and the fate of its 159 employees remains uncertain.
"We've run out of funds and we're desperately looking for a partner to finance the paper," Salman said.

He blames the country's political stalemate, with existing divisions exacerbated by the war in neighbouring Syria.

Lebanon is dominated by two main blocs: one backed by the West and Gulf kingdoms, and the other by Iran and Syria.

The rift means there have been no parliamentary elections since 2009, and lawmakers have failed for nearly two years to elect a president.

"Without politics, there is no media, and there is no politics in Lebanon today," Salman said.

- Freedom to criticise -

Experts say the crisis is being driven by several factors, including an advertising revenue slump that has hit media worldwide and is exacerbated in Lebanon by a fragile security situation.
The long-standing reliance of Lebanese media on political financing from the Middle East's rival powers is also key to the problem.

Many of the region's most influential journalists have written their best stories for Lebanese newspapers, relishing the freedom to be critical that one could only dream of under other more oppressive governments.

But the freedom was never complete.

Some journalists have paid the ultimate price for their work, including An-Nahar's Samir Kassir and Gibran Tueini who were both murdered as the Syrian army pulled out of Lebanon in 2005.

As-Safir's Salman escaped an assassination attempt himself in 1984, when Lebanon was mired in civil war.

At its core, Lebanon's media sector has long been a playing field for the region's competing powers, and without their financing, newspapers and TV stations simply cannot survive.

During the 1975-1990 Lebanese civil war, Libya's Moamer Kadhafi, Iraq's Saddam Hussein and the Palestine Liberation Organisation's Yasser Arafat were key financiers.

As-Safir acted as the voice of Arab nationalists and defenders of the Palestinian cause while An-Nahar stood for Lebanese pluralism.

After the war, Saudi, Qatari and Iranian money took over, but a few years on, even Riyadh's oil-fuelled coffers are running dry.

- 'Lost authority' -

With social media and citizen journalism taking centre-stage in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings in the region, regimes have taken to setting up newspapers on their own turf.

The Lebanese media "has lost its impact and its authority, and that means a commensurate decrease in interest from the Arab regimes that were funding them," said Georges Sadaka, dean of the journalism faculty at the Lebanese University.

In 2015, Wikileaks revealed that a Lebanese TV station received $2 million in donations from Saudi Arabia -- 10 percent of what it had asked the kingdom to pay.

The editors of An-Nahar, founded in 1933, have denied rumours that it may face closure, but its journalists have not been paid for seven months and several have been let go.

Staff at English-language The Daily Star as well as the Al-Mustaqbal newspaper and television station owned by billionaire Sunni former prime minister Saad Hariri say they too are owed pay.

"The crisis of the press is a key part of the crisis of Lebanon," said Mohammad Farhat, managing editor of the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat, which has offices in London and Beirut.

"And the death of politics means the death of the press."
Source: AFP

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today once a beacon lebanese dailies lose regional sway Arab Today, arab today once a beacon lebanese dailies lose regional sway

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today once a beacon lebanese dailies lose regional sway Arab Today, arab today once a beacon lebanese dailies lose regional sway

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Youssra depended on colored foam

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today Taxi! Transport gets an overhaul

GMT 12:09 2017 Sunday ,24 September

Taxi! Transport gets an overhaul
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Turkey warns of 'security' steps

GMT 12:17 2017 Sunday ,24 September

Turkey warns of 'security' steps
Arab Today, arab today North Korea 'more opaque'

GMT 10:50 2017 Sunday ,24 September

North Korea 'more opaque'
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Ministry seeks to improve education

GMT 14:49 2017 Sunday ,17 September

Ministry seeks to improve education
Arab Today, arab today 'Lady Beast' fights for girl gamers

GMT 10:27 2017 Sunday ,24 September

'Lady Beast' fights for girl gamers
Arab Today, arab today Psychologists help Mexico deal

GMT 05:05 2017 Sunday ,24 September

Psychologists help Mexico deal
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Third generation adds more power

GMT 13:40 2017 Sunday ,24 September

Third generation adds more power
Arab Today, arab today Carmakers face billions in European

GMT 12:37 2017 Saturday ,23 September

Carmakers face billions in European
Arab Today, arab today Lebleba is preoccupied in filming 'Back Street'

GMT 08:56 2017 Thursday ,21 September

Lebleba is preoccupied in filming 'Back Street'
Arab Today, arab today Big Western brands polluting oceans

GMT 20:10 2017 Saturday ,23 September

Big Western brands polluting oceans

GMT 08:59 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Youssra prepares for launching her program

GMT 10:16 2017 Friday ,22 September

All eyes on May as she prepares

GMT 16:53 2017 Saturday ,02 September

Mai importance of gifts during Eid Al-Adha

GMT 12:01 2017 Wednesday ,20 September

Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands brace

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 18:11 2017 Saturday ,23 September

Doctor provides advices to families

GMT 13:36 2017 Saturday ,23 September

unveils Joon - the 'millenials' airline

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 12:46 2017 Thursday ,21 September

Google likely to buy stake in Taiwan smartphone maker HTC

GMT 11:37 2017 Saturday ,12 August

Fashion designer reveals her new collection
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday