DOI link for Lebanese broadcasting
Lebanese broadcasting book
Lebanon has had an oversized influence on Arab broadcasting, despite being one of the smallest Arab states. Lebanese broadcasting resembles the rest of the Arab world with a long-time government monopoly on radio and censorship of news-related television programs. Yet, in many ways, Lebanese broadcasting is unique among Arab countries. Lebanese television, for instance – the oldest running Arab television – was launched as a commercial enterprise, not a government mouthpiece, and is today the largest private Arab broadcast industry. This turned it into a pioneer and trendsetter in the adoption of new technology, production quality, and presentational styles. Its locally trained cadre has positively affected the development of the region’s media, especially with the journalist brain drain during the 1975 civil war. Throughout its extremely eventful history, the television industry has been accused credibly of suppressing its national station in favor of private, sectarian-based stations. Yet, dealing with these challenges forced the government to create the first Arab legal framework regulating commercial television (1994). Overall, Lebanese television has had a greater lasting effect on the region than Lebanese radio, as the former has driven the commercialization of Arab regional television, promoted cultural and social changes through its relatively liberated cultural agenda, and helped integrate the regional industry into the global market.