Editor-in-Chief of local daily An-Nahar Nayla Tueni Thursday protested Lebanon’s economic and political situation hours after the paper published a blank newspaper for its Thursday issue.
“We’re facing the most dangerous situation in Lebanon," Tueni said at a news conference at An-Nahar’s headquarters. "Our scream today is to express the pain that we can no longer bear the situation.”
The daily only printed the newspaper’s title, the picture of its late editor-in-chief Gebran Tueni and his famous oath, the publication’s social media usernames and editorial information.
An-Nahar’s website also featured empty articles. Its social media profiles had white backgrounds, white profile pictures and published blank posts.
“An-Nahar’s white pages today represent an expression of our feelings of responsibility as a national publication towards the catastrophic situation of our country,” Tueni said during the news conference that was attended by MP Nadim Gemayel. “The country’s situation is bad and the press situation is bad. An-Nahar can continue, and it will.”
A source close to An-Nahar said earlier in the day that the paper’s reporters weren’t informed of the decision beforehand, though some of them suspected that something was going on.
“It’s like a message asking: What if An-Nahar no longer goes into print again?” the source said, adding that some have interpreted the paper’s move as a political statement regarding the current situation in the country.
The paper’s decision comes amid a recent press crisis in Lebanon. Last month, publishing house Dar Assayad decided to close its doors due to financial difficulties, leading it to stop publishing one of Lebanon’s leading newspapers, Al-Anwar, along with plans to shut down its other publications.
The closing of Al-Anwar follows a similar decision in 2016 by Lebanese daily As-Safir to close its doors after more than 40 years in print, also as a result of financial troubles.
An-Nahar was established in 1933 by Gebran Tueni and is now run by his great-granddaughter.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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