The Editors Weblog 04 February 2005
Editors Voice:
BBC News Reports on the Palestinian Press

According to the BBC, three daily newspapers and a number of weeklies serve the 400,000 Palestinians who live in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. While many of the weeklies are affiliated to specific political organizations, two of the dailies are independent and the third daily is owned largely by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

With a circulation of 20,000, Al-Quds constitutes the largest daily paper and has no official political connections. But Al-Quds remains the most cautious, publishing many reports sourced from domestic and international news agencies.

The PNA has shares in the second largest daily paper, Al-Ayyam, which has a cirulation of 10,000. Al-Ayyam is directed at a discerning readership of intelletuals, as it contains more in-depth exclusive reports than the other two main dailies.

Al-Hayat al-Jadidah, the third daily, has a circulation of 5,000, and only constitutes a semi-official newspaper, since the PNA enjoys a large stake in the company. Despite the Palestinian law for freedom of the press and of opinion, newspapers operate under difficult security conditions and exercise self-censorship, rarely accusing specific figures of anything unfavorable. Yet the newspapers are not widely read, given that a third of Palestinians admit to never picking up a paper. Palestinians enjoy uncensored access to the internet and rely heavily on pan-Arab TV stations to receive news.

Source: BBC News

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