Photo: Al-Jazeera via Joseph Eid / AFP

The Daily Star, Lebanon’s oldest English newspaper, shuts down

The management of Lebanon’s age-old English newspaper The Daily Star notified its staff that the publication will be shutting down after years of financial struggle.

Editor-in-chief Nadim Ladki wrote in a staff email on Monday, “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.”

As one of the first English newspapers in the Arab world,The Daily Star was first founded in 1952 by Kamel Mrowa—the renowned owner and editor-in-chief of pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat.

The paper suspended publication twice during the 1975-90 Civil War, and closed again briefly in 2009 due to financial difficulty. 

According to the Media Ownership Monitor Lebanon, a joint project between Reporters Without Borders and the Samir Kassir Foundation, the publication is indirectly owned by the Hariri family.

It is the latest in their media empire to shut down, following Future TV in 2019. The Hariri-owned Al-Mustaqbal newspaper also halted printing two years ago, but continues to publish online.

The Daily Star has been struggling with financial difficulties for the past few years, which forced it to suspend its print edition in 2020 and then temporarily halt its online edition earlier in October before taking the executive decision to formally close down all operations.