For the last 2 to 3 years, Lebanon has been experiencing one of the most devasting periods in its history.
Following a pandemic, revolution, economic crisis, hyperinflation, political crisis, and the Beirut Port explosion, the Lebanese people looked to the upcoming parliamentary elections as a way to reverse this course.
In what can be said as one of Lebanon’s most critical elections, almost 2 million Lebanese took to the polls, in Lebanon and across the diaspora, to vote.
961, the leading English media outlet for Lebanese, averages 4 million annual readers across our 72 sections. Our newly launched 961News division offers daily critical news coverage and took on the duty of providing by-the-minute coverage of the Lebanese elections.
The 961News team covered everything from the fights that broke out at stations, the blatant vote manipulation caught on video, and the by-the-minute results as they became available.
A successful three days for our newly established news team proved worth it.
Our coverage was consumed almost 4.2 million times by over 1.3 million people within the 3-day period. This represents an equivalent of 31.1% of registered voters and 66.67% of all those who voted.
According to the Samir Kassir Foundation’s Media Ownership Monitor, 80% of the media in Lebanon is controlled or linked to the political elite and the country’s tycoons.
Lebanon has been increasingly craving independent media and news coverage since the 2019 Revolution against corruption and the ruling class. This has been evident by 961’s triple-digit growth that same year, which saw our traffic double in the first months of the revolution and propelled us to the leading position in English media – which we have held since.
“We’re extremely honored to be trusted by millions of Lebanese people in Lebanon and abroad who rely on us daily for what’s going on in Lebanon. We’re taking this responsibility seriously. We will be making proper investments to drastically expand and professionalize our 961News division to better serve and live up to the expectations of the Lebanese people. More importantly, to continue our mission of dethroning the Lebanese political media, one view and one outlet at a time,” said 961’s founder and CEO, Anthony Kantara.
In the coming weeks, 961 and 961News will diverge into two separate media divisions. 961 will continue to serve light-hearted content such as guides and things going on in Lebanon. While 961News will be dedicated to covering news and critical coverage, including investigative journalism. This move will allow each division to grow unhinged and serve our increasingly diverse audience without limiting each other.
According to Anthony Kantara, “This move will allow 961 to continue to offer brand-safe and engaging content as well as be able to expand its advertising offerings in more creative and engaging ways. It will also allow 961News to increase its aggressiveness in its news coverage without self-limiting due to brand safety concerns of 961’s advertising partners.”