BEIRUT: Meeting the end of other prominent newspapers in Lebanon and the MENA region, Future (Al-Mustaqbal) newspaper announced it will seize operations on February 1, 2019, ending 20 years of publishing.
In a press release sent out Thursday, the newspaper cited that the main reason for this decision was the “changes taking place in the press industry in Lebanon and the world.”
While Al-Mustaqbal acknowledged the local markets’ severe decline in sales and advertising revenues, it also said that the newspaper is switching to a digital platform.
On October 1, 2018, one of Lebanon’s oldest publishing houses Dar Assayyad (founded in 1943) also shut its printing press, and with that, closing the daily newspaper it publishes; al-Anwar. It also shut down 10 magazines in Lebanon and the Arab world.
Pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat newspaper, founded in 1946, closed its Beirut office in June 2018.
Prior to that on 31 December 2016, Lebanon’s renowned As-Safir newspaper also face a similar fate.
Editor in Chief Talal Salman had continuously tied the falling of revenues to Lebanon's political and sectarian tensions, including the two-year presidential vacuum which finally ended in 2016.
On 14 October, L'Orient-Le Jour, the only French-language daily newspaper in Lebanon, increased its price by 30 percent, trying to limit its losses.
In recent years, many journalists in a number of established media organizations have faced financial difficulties amid a shrinking employment market.
On December 31, 2016, Reuters mentioned that “Lebanon’s press union urged the government to take steps to strengthen the country’s print media.”
It also mentioned that Al-Safir, among others, had lobbied the government for a possible stimulus package worth up to $15 million per year to shore up the sector. No plans have yet been approved, however.
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