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SKeyes Center for Media and Cultural Freedom - Samir Kassir Foundation

The Daily Star closes down after yearslong financial struggle

Monday , 01 November 2021

The long-running Lebanese English-language newspaper The Daily Star has closed up shop after struggling financially for years. Management notified the paper’s staff of the decision on Monday, November 1, 2021.

Here’s what we know:

    • In an email to staff Monday, which was seen by L'Orient Today, editor-in-chief Nadim Ladki wrote, “With a heavy heart, I regret to inform you that a decision has been made to lay off all staff at The Daily Star as of October 31, 2021.” Reached by phone, Ladki declined to comment.


    • The Daily Star was first founded in 1952 by Kamel Mrowa, who was then also the owner and editor-in-chief of the pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper. The new English-language newspaper was intended “to serve the growing number of expatriates lured by the oil industry” and to “introduce the region to non-Arabic readers” as the paper noted on its website.

    • The paper suspended publication twice during the 1975-90 Civil War and relaunched in 1996, during the period of post-war reconstruction. It was briefly closed again in 2009 due to financial difficulties.

    • The publication is indirectly owned by the Hariri family, according to the Media Ownership Monitor Lebanon, a project of Reporters Without Borders and the Samir Kassir Foundation.

    • Over the years, The Daily Star was a launching pad for many prominent Lebanese and foreign journalists working in the region. However, in recent years, like many Lebanese media companies, it had struggled financially and was known for periodic monthslong delays in paying its staff’s salaries.

• Last year, the paper stopped publishing a print edition, and on Oct. 13 of this year it ceased updating its website. Sources at the paper told L’Orient Today at the time that the suspension was intended to pressure its owners to invest money into saving the publication.

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