Lebanon profile - Media

Published

Lebanon's broadcasting scene is developed and lively and reflects the country's pluralism and its divisions.

It was the first Arab country to permit private radio and TV and has become a regional media hub.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) says "genuine freedom of expression" exists but political parties have a "stranglehold" and journalism is "a full-fledged weapon in the political conflict".

The financial crisis and the effects of the 2020 Beirut port explosion have forced media outlets to cut their staffing and budgets. The Daily Star, Lebanon's only English-language paper, closed in 2021.

Almost all TVs and radios are privately-owned and many are affiliated with political groups. Al-Manar TV is operated by militant group Hezbollah. Take-up of satellite and cable is widespread.

Lebanese TVs are known for hosting some of the most daring cultural and social talks shows in the Middle East.

There are dozens of private radio stations. BBC Arabic and Radio France Internationale are carried by partner stations.

There are 6 million internet users and around 5 million active social media users (We Are Social/Hootsuite, 2022).

There is no large-scale filtering of online content. However, Freedom House said in 2021 that "the state has started to block more content, often failing to provide transparency about its decisions."

News websites across the political spectrum are a key information source.

The press

Television

Radio

News agency/internet

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