New Arabic paper hits the stands
A new Arabic-language daily newspaper, Al-Fajar al-Jadid, is being launched in Israel on Sunday in an effort to succeed where others have failed: as an independent, commercially viable, daily newspaper for the Arabic-reading public.
Publisher and editor Lutfi Deeb comes from advertising and is not known in the circles of Arab journalism. He hopes to initiate, through the newspaper, a "cultural change in the lives of Arabs in the State of Israel."
Al-Fajar al-Jadid (New Dawn) is based in Nazareth and 23,000 copies will be printed daily. The 32-page paper will not be sold to subscribers, but will be available in stalls in Arab towns and villages in the Galilee and Negev for two shekels a copy.
"This will be a political newspaper, with a liberal line, that will offer a forum for every opinion in the Arab public. We will have an expanded sports section and a cultural section," Deeb says, adding that he will try to shed any blatant political affiliation.
"This will be a neutral newspaper, we are interested in giving a forum to all the writers and authors in the Arab sector. We will not intervene in the opinions, there will be an opinion and a counter-opinion."
The new paper will try to compete with Al-Itihad, the 60-year-old daily that is affiliated with the Communist Party and Hadash, but which remains in private ownership and suffers from economic difficulties. It sells several thousand copies a day, mostly to subscribers.