Lebanese Press Raises Red Flag
We are all aware of the crisis and struggles facing the press in Lebanon. It is in this context and while several newspapers are wound down that Al Joumhouria and An Nahar have made their voice sound and clear, each with a message that was made to trigger heightened awareness on the state of print media. On one hand, An Nahar published an 8-page blank issue with only the newspaper’s title printed, 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 represent an expression of our feelings of responsibility as a national publication towards the catastrophic situation of our country,” said Nayla Tueni Editor-in-chief of the daily An-nahar during a news conference. “The country’s situation is bad and the press situation is bad. An-nahar can continue, and it will. […]”our scream today is to express the pain that we can no longer bear the situation.” On the other hand, Al Joumhouria has rolled out an outdoor and TV campaign. Four visuals have been created by Phenomena asserting: Aljoumhouria… Complete it is bound to be; Free it is bound to be; Fair it is bound to be; The first it is bound to be. Of course these statements have a double meaning as they not only refer to the newspaper but also hint to the republic as a whole as the literal translation from Arabic to English is closer to “to be free or not to be” and these are imperative qualifications for a healthy nation. “Under the same established animation which highlights the best constitutional connotations of the Lebanese republic, we crafted a new script to describe and criticize the current situation and to provoke a positive shock,” explained Sami Saab, founder and creative director of Phenomena. ”This ‘Awakening’ campaign is an appeal to the entire nation by saying enough is enough. All of us are concerned. Let’s not lose hope.” After all, far from a simple newspaper, it is substantive and diverse information that is key to a healthy democracy. And this what Al Joumhouria wants to stand for: a platform for empowerment of the Republic. Hence Al Joumhouria becomes “The Voice” that awakens our Nation from the apathy!