Lebanese newspaper As-Safir to stop publishing after 40 years

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s daily newspaper, As-Safir, will stop publication at the end of 2016 after 40 years of operations, in the latest sign of the growing crisis facing publishers worldwide amid a drop in circulation and lower advertising revenues.

The newspaper’s publisher, Talal Salman, informed Friday his employees that the daily will cease publishing both its print and online editions, sources told Annahar.

Earlier this year, Salman had announced his intention to close the newspaper due to financial difficulties but later backtracked on his decision.

“Due to the immense display of affection from the Lebanese people, we have decided to remain operational, even if it is for a month or two,” Salman said back then, voicing hope that the newspaper will secure funding from new investors to remain operational.

“Till now no one has reached into their pockets… I am counting on people,… and expatriates who believe in the continuation of democracy and journalism,” Salman had added.

As-Safir is one of many leading local newspapers struggling to cope with falling revenues and a lack of interest from major political parties who had long provided a financial lifeline for Lebanese publications in exchange for their allegiance and support.

Reports had previously emerged of the government’s intention to provide financial support for well-established media institutions that face the risk of bankruptcy but any concrete measures have yet to be taken.

As-Safir, which stands for “The Ambassador” in Arabic, was founded by Salman in 1974 with the slogan “a voice for those who have no voice.”