Media with a Mission: Why Fairness and Balance Are Not Priorities in Lebanon’s Journalistic Codes

Yasmine T. Dabbous


Investigating why fairness and balance are not priorities in Lebanon, this article suggests that the country’s historical and sociopolitical evolution favored a partisan model where press institutions are either owned by or supportive of political blocs, parties, or personalities. Factors such as the za’im system, foreign patronization, institutionalized sectarianism, social inequality, and the civil war reinforced partisan affiliations and created a double, unwritten social contract: An unspoken pact joins journalists and media owners, with the former serving the interests of the latter through their reporting. At the same time, an unwritten agreement connects journalists and citizens, who see the media as indicators of political opinion.

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