Media suspends broadcasts due to fuel crisis in Lebanon – Middle East campaign

Image credits: Reuters

The media report that the Lebanese fuel crisis has wreaked havoc on the media sector with three radio stations and one TV station temporarily suspending their broadcasting activities. Independent radio Sawt El-Shaab announced on Friday the temporary suspension of its programs because guests were unable to make it to the radio’s offices due to the fuel crisis. Radio Al-Sharq and Future TV of the political party Future Movement also announced the suspension of the broadcast.

Radio Al-Sharq director Kamal Richa told Arab News: “The radio station, which was established in 1994, has never stopped broadcasting. But we had to turn off our generators because of the diesel shortage, and the broadcast stopped a few days ago.

The two outlets, owned by former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, faced a severe financial crisis a year ago and much of the staff were laid off.

Richa added: “The radio administration obtained a quantity of diesel fuel on Saturday and informed us that we can resume broadcasting on Sunday, starting at seven in the morning. However, we may have to stop broadcasting again, as nothing is guaranteed in Lebanon. “

Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad called for support from the media sector, but without response. Minister Abdel Samad declared: “Even Radio Liban, which speaks on behalf of the state, stops broadcasting every time the electricity is cut off from the transmission centers spread over all Lebanese territories, and the government company Télé Liban ( TL) will gradually stop broadcasting. . The TL administration said the broadcast is suspended between midnight and 7 a.m. in order to save fuel.

She added that she had “sent letters to the Minister of Energy and the Commander of the Army, requesting support from official and private media institutions, but none responded.”

The Lebanese army command announced on Tuesday that a “three-day crackdown” had taken place by units which resulted in the seizure of 4,392,725 liters of gasoline and 221,140 liters of diesel which had been stored. for smuggling on the black market or for sale at high prices.

“The owners of these quantities were obliged either to sell them at the subsidized price or to seize them and hand them over to hospitals, bakeries and private generators which have ceased to function or are about to shut down”, a- he declared.

The Audiovisual Media Workers Union begs Abdel Samad “to seek with the persons concerned a special mechanism allowing workers to obtain petrol, to facilitate the task of media professionals”.

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