Al-Akhbar pro-Hezbollah local newspaper has been around since 14 August 2006, launched 33 days after the Israeli aggression against Lebanon. Since then, Al-Akhbar has been one of the most read newspapers in Lebanon.
That’s because it has always been close to the people’s sufferings, and interested in covering news of corruption and issues of living hardships.
For months before the revolution, Al-Akhbar covered the deterioration of the economic situation, as well as its effect on the lower class in Lebanon. Even in the first few days of the protests, the newspaper took a supportive stance towards it.
The newspaper followed the people’s movements and wrote about the uprise taking place all over Lebanon from end to end, as being triggered by poor social and economic conditions.
Then, a few days later, Al-Akhbar drastically changed its position from pro-protests to anti-protests and warning that the protests are being powered by political forces backed by regional states.
This new policy taken by the newspaper’s administration to attack and spread rumors against the people’s revolutions led two of its employees to quit their jobs.
These two resignations came from Mohammed Zbeeb, editor in chief of Al-Akhbar newspaper business page, and his colleague Ghassan Dibeh. Noting that their fellow journalist Joy Slim had also resigned from the newspaper last week.
Mohammed posted the news of his resignation on Twitter: “I submitted my resignation from al-Akhbar last week to protest the administration’s attitude towards the Revolution.”
Today, November 5th, he tweeted that he and his colleague Ghassan Dibeh are not responsible for the article about Capitalism that appeared in the Al-Akhbar newspaper.
Joy Slim also tweeted, giving a more detailed explanation: “I submitted my resignation from al-Akhbar after working for five years and a half in the newspaper. The past days were decisive for me.”
His tweet continued, “I was disappointed how the paper covered the uprising after working for months (and perhaps years) to provide evidence that it had to happen.
As soon as it happened, the newspaper quickly joined the ranks of the counter-revolution, introducing inflammatory plots and rumors.”
The next two resignations came on Tuesday, November 5th, from the journalists Sabah Ayoub and Viviane Akiki.
These two gave statements on twitter as well, where Sabah Ayoub wrote: “I submitted my resignation from Al-Akhbar newspaper due to the accumulation of reasons, the latest of which was the performance of the newspaper in covering the October 17 popular uprising.”
In her turn, Vivian Akiki gave the following justification: “I submitted my resignation from Al-Akhbar for professional reasons related to its coverage of the popular uprising, and other accumulated reasons related to the professional performance of the newspaper that were never treated.”
She added, “I thank Al-Akhbar for the opportunity it gave me, as I went through its experience under the supervision of colleague Mohammed Zbeeb, but today I no longer find myself in it.”
This stance towards the revolution and the protesters not only comes from Al-Akhbar newspaper, but it is also adopted by Hezbollah’s Al-Manar television broadcast.
Both media outlets are aligned with Hezbollah’s opinion of the revolution being suspicious and funded by foreign embassies.
The right approach to be taken here by all media, whether they are independent or they follow certain political parties, is to adopt an objective system in their news sharing. This is the perfect way to avoid any provocation to the people, employees, journalists, or even people in power.
In the end, all everyone really wants are pure facts, distant from all types of oppression and obscuring.