More Journalists Quit al-Akhbar over 'Stance' from Revolution

Two more journalists from the pro-Hizbullah al-Akhbar daily quit their jobs at the paper on Tuesday over what they said is its coverage policy of the October 17 popular uprising in Lebanon.

Sabah Ayoub, one of the journalists, wrote on Twitter: “Reasons have piled up making me resign al-Akhbar, the last of which was the paper’s coverage policy of the popular October 17 uprising.”

Viviane Akiki wrote in a tweet: “I submitted my resignation from al-Akhbar for professional reasons related to its coverage of the popular uprising, and other reasons related to the newspaper's professional performance, which were never addressed.”

On Monday, editor in chief of al-Akhbar newspaper business page Mohammed Zbeeb, and Joy Slim said they quit work at the newspaper.

Al-Akhbar is among the most read and respected newspapers in Lebanon, including by those who do not share its political leanings.

Over the years, it has consistently produced pioneering coverage of the economic hardships faced by Lebanon's least privileged, a key driver of the ongoing protests.

When the protests erupted nearly three weeks ago, initially over a proposed tax on phone calls via messaging apps, al-Akhbar threw its weight behind the movement.

However, protesters' grievances swiftly grew to demand the resignation of the entire ruling elite and a complete overhaul of a system that has returned the same politicians to power for decades.

Hizbullah's powerful leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah faced unusual criticism, including within his own strongholds, and criticized segments of the protest movement as being reckless and manipulated by the West.

Al-Akhbar's initial enthusiasm for the protests gave way to a stance cautioning against the government's resignation and the emergence of a political vacuum.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a Hizbullah rival in the governing coalition, eventually bowed to street pressure on October 29 and announced his cabinet's resignation.

Source: Naharnet, Agence France Presse

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