Lebanon has long been recognized as having one of the most open and diverse media Environments in the Middle East. It was the first Arab country to permit private radio and television and there are now more than six independent television stations. Political interests have a strong influence though, as most media owners are affiliated with either a political party or a religious sect and content reflects their respective ideologies.
Several studies said that this “politicization” of the media is not new and that since the 1975-1990 civil war, when the majority of newspapers and broadcast stations were created, the media has strongly reflected the country’s pluralism and divisions.
Aligning with a particular political movement was the sense that a journalist might be better protected if they were working under a “political umbrella” rather than independently. This also means, however, that journalists risk losing their credibility as independent observers increasingly identified in connection with a particular movement, journalists risk being targeted for attack by representatives of opposing sides.
The blurred line between media and politics in Lebanon disappeared following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri on 14 February 2005.
Each event happens in Lebanon or outside Lebanon; the media outlet will deal with it in a way that serve their political party.
For example, Press close to 14 March always claims that large number of people was killed in Syria by the regime forces, while press close to 8 March say that the same number was killed but by the free Syrian army.
This is one of many examples of reporting on the Syrian crisis in Lebanon, where each outlet has its own, sometimes contradictory “facts” and interpretations. This complete absence of critical, neutral reporting is only deepening divisions and escalating conflict within Lebanese society.
Lebanese media is contributing in discord and division among the Lebanese, because it’s directed to serve political and religious parties, and to ensure greater control over people’s mind, so how Lebanese people should fortify themselves from this politicized media??