Lebanese twitterverse and blogosphere have rightly highlighted yesterday what it seemed an act of censorship by the traditionally pro-Hariri NOW Lebanon website. The unfortunate incident resulted with an anti-Hariri English editorial been taken down shortly after publication.
But to loudly shout ‘censorship’ and just stop, doesn’t give describe the full picture, and give much justice to the website that is trying to change. It is, actually, changing towards more balanced and professional reporting.
I base my above view of the editorial changes on a combination of information from inside sources (more than one) in NOW Lebanon, and from what have been recently published in the public domain – despite of a lesser frequency of its other mainstream reporting.
NOW Lebanon, especially the Arabic section, has managed to recently publish few pieces that were not of its traditional colour at all, like these ones (here, here, and here) which were critical of the Saudi society and politics. I also have read pieces critical of Solidere, and of Future Movement politics. This piece described the sectarianism of the “Sunni Streets” with few criticism against their leaders (Hariri).
Even this piece criticising the involvement of both March 8 and March 14 in Syria granted the author few near-treason labels in the website comments sections; that’s how difficult it’s to tell the usual audience a different story, that’s if it was easy in the first place to overcome the internal traditional engines. We’ll see how this develops, but for now, I say well done to the people in NOW Lebanon that publish but not remove.
The removed article has been republished this morning – with a silly disclaimer though. But the important bit at the end of the day is it’s back up. That shows the diversity metamorphosis is not an easy process to complete.
On the formatting side of the things, I have been exclusively informed that a new reformed website will be coming out soon. Let’s watch NOW Lebanon “changing”…