An Nahar revived instantly
half-staffed work remotely
Just published pan-Arab
online edition to be re-launched
You would think that destiny would have spared the daily An Nahar since it has already gotten its eternal share of tragedy. Especially on its birthday. Especially on the day it was celebrating the launch of its online pan-Arab edition. The newspaper that is supposed to cover events became part of the event itself. So was its immediate survival, or rather resurrection.
At 6:08 pm, 19 out of 50 staff members present were blown away and received injuries. The offices crumbled. At 10:30 pm, two people, both blast survivors, started working from home on next day’s edition. The following day an abridged edition of An Nahar was, like normal, on newsstands and distributed to its regular subscribers. Its Arabic and English language news sites, and its just-launched pan-Arab edition, kept running and were regularly updated. In the second post-blast edition on August 6, An Nahar was published in its full format, even with half its staff out of commission for one reason or another.
Already under severe financial constraints, with long arrears in payroll, the newspaper found its members, many injured or still under the shock of the blast, rise up to the challenge, and put what is left of their energies into not missing an issue. Not even for a single day.
An Nahar held its first staff and editorial meeting at their offices, two weeks after working from home. “It was a quiet celebration,” said Ghassan Hajjar, the newspaper’s editorial manager. “We have colleagues still in recovery,” he said. Economic division journalists Salwa Baalbaki and Maurice Matta were badly injured. “We are eager to have them back,” said Hajjar.
“The explosion has taken away the thrust of the launch of our new pan-Arab website. It has not stopped running, but in two weeks we will decide on how to catapult it to capture the attention of the audience,” he said.
Date Posted: Aug 17, 2020