Arab News appoints Somayya Jabarti as Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Somayya Jabarti is an award-winning Saudi journalist.
Updated 31 October 2019

Arab News appoints Somayya Jabarti as Assistant Editor-in-Chief

  • * Among other tasks, Jabarti will oversee training and development program as well newspaper’s gender-balance project.

RIYADH: Arab News, the Middle East’s leading English-language daily, announces the appointment of Somayya Jabarti in the capacity of Assistant Editor-in-Chief. Jabarti will assume the role as of 3 November 2019, she will work alongside deputy editor Tarek Mishkhas out of the newspaper’s headquarters in Riyadh. Her role will encompass several local, regional and international responsibilities. 

“We are delighted to announce the return of Somayya to the Arab News family. She brings invaluable editorial and managerial experience and we look forward to her contributions to our vision and expanding operations," said Faisal J. Abbas, Editor-in-Chief of Arab News. “Somayya will also play a vital role in the training and development of our reporters and in helping Arab News achieve its goal of having the Middle East’s first gender-balanced newsroom by the end of next year,” he added. 

An Arab News veteran, Jabarti recently headed the Saudi Government's Center for International Communication (CIC). Prior to that, she became the kingdom's first-ever female newspaper editor when she succeeded Khaled al-Maeena at the helm of Saudi Gazette in 2014. Jabarti has nearly two decades of media experience, she was selected as one of the BBC’s 100 Women List in 2015, she has also been listed as one of Arabian Business’ Top 100 Most powerful Arab Women and was among Al Arabiya English’s Top 10 Muslim Women that made headlines in 2014. Additionally among other awards, she was the recipient of the Arab Woman Award for media in 2015.


Lebanese news agency boycotts politicians’ press conferences, including Hezbollah’s Nasrallah

Updated 07 August 2020

Lebanese news agency boycotts politicians’ press conferences, including Hezbollah’s Nasrallah

  • The Lebanese news agency LBCI has said it will no longer provide coverage of any politician’s press conference, including Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah
  • “Let your accomplishments speak for you and don’t distract people with storytelling,” an LBCI presenter said

LONDON: The Lebanese news agency LBCI has said it will no longer provide coverage of any politician’s press conference, including Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, following Tuesday’s massive explosions.

“The Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International decided that what comes after Aug. 4 is not like what came before,” a presenter announced on live television on Friday.

“Because after the earthquake is not the same as before, because your (Lebanese government) neglect and failure is one of the main reasons for what we have come to ... because after Aug. 4, we need actions and not words, achievements and not speeches.

“Let your accomplishments speak for you and don’t distract people with storytelling,” she said.

“Finally, we tell people: While you are waiting for the speeches of your leaders, there are mothers who are waiting for the return of their children from the rubble — the priority is for them, not for you.”

Many Lebanese welcomed LBCI’s announcement, with several taking to social media to praise the move — especially given that Nasrallah spoke at a press conference at 5:30 p.m. local time, his first address since the blasts.

“Not only Nasrallah, but all speeches, by all parties. They are nothing more than propaganda. They own their own propaganda bullhorns, so let them use those to address their sheep, rather than block the airwaves for the rest of us,” Raghda Azad, a policy adviser, told Arab News.

“Not that LBC is a model or anything, but all television outlets should stop unquestioning and uncritical reports of so-called leaders,” she added.

However, some doubt the move will not be followed by other stations.

“I think it would be great if they all do. But I think because many people care what he says, stations feel like they should oblige,” Aya Chamseddine, a Beirut-based researcher, told Arab News.

“Generally, people tend to — even if they loathe him — root themselves in front of TVs to watch and listen. His speeches are theatrics above all,” she said. “His narrative will be predictable. He will say they know more than anyone what it means to lose people. He’ll be insulting.”

A Lebanese media expert, who did not want to be named due to the sensitivity of the issue, disagrees with the move.

“CNN, even when it hates (US President) Trump, carries his speeches. Nasrallah is the biggest political player in the region; when he speaks people would want to listen because of his effect on politics and our daily lives,” he said.

“The issue is analyzing what he says later, and tearing it apart when it is false or stupid, like CNN does after every Trump speech or statement.”

The boycott comes three days after Beirut was rocked by two blasts when 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate confiscated six years ago and left in a port storage hangar exploded.

The massive explosions left at least 140 people dead, over 5,000 injured and more than 300,000 homeless. Many say that government corruption and negligence are behind the explosion.