In collaboration with the Centre for Lebanese Studies and the Lebanese American University, Dr. Sarah El Richani launched her book “The Lebanese Media”. The book probes the Lebanese media system, and examines the dual relation between media and politics. During her speech, El Richani clearly stated that “media freedom is a myth.” The Lebanese news media are independent of the government but not of the system. In fact, politicians still dominate media outlets for they are the main source of money. El Richani added “media are fund by illegitimate sources.” Lebanese TV stations are undergoing serious obstacles, such as the issue of licensing for many of them cannot get licenses without political backing. El Richani closely analyzed the current situation of Télé Liban and claimed “TL cannot compete with the market due to lack of financial support and political will.”
“Tell me what you watch and I’ll tell you who you are.” How would such an option exist in a country where media don’t embrace diversity, yet limit their functions for propaganda and the service of political agendas? The Lebanese media still suffer; owner of LBC Pierre Al-Daher assumes that “in 2020, all Lebanese TV stations will be shut down.” El-Richani believes that “media are in need of politics in terms of financial support.” On the other hand, Former Minister of Information Tarek Mitri claims that “LBC, Al-Manar, OTV and MTV are more powerful than me in the council of minister.” Despite all the anarchy, political communication is essential for the sake of both: media and politics. It has been said that strong politics derives its strength from strong media, and I personally think that politics without media cannot survive!