Save the conscience of the nation

August 28, 2018
Save the conscience of the nation

Hamoud Abu Taleb

Okaz newspaper

In an American city, I used to pass, almost every day, by the building of its most popular newspaper. One day I decided to go inside to see what was happening in this building.

I experience this same feeling whenever I pass through the Dallah Street. I find myself driven towards the Okaz newspaper. I have to stop and go inside its majestic building.

I went inside the building of the American newspaper. I introduced myself to the staff and we began discussing the fate of the print media.

I asked the staff if they were still printing their newspaper or if the time of the print media had forever gone.

They told me that despite the challenges posed by the technological advancement, they still believed that the smell of the print was the spirit of the newspaper. They said they were determined to fight so that this beautiful smell reaches the readers who love it.

They told me that the print copy still represented the history and the identity of the newspaper and would continue to be so.

Here I must say that it pains me severely to think that a day may come when I find myself unable to go through the pages of Okaz or any one of the other newspapers.

A beautiful history will come to an end if this happens. Therefore the end of the print media should never be allowed to happen.

Our newspapers played a huge national and social role. They contributed to changing much of the details of our daily life for the better.

Personally I feel the tears at the brink of my eyes every time Okaz is issued in 16 pages after it was coming out in 48 pages or more.

I also feel great pain when I come to realize the dedication and loyalty of the editorial staff who continued to work despite all the difficulties and shortcomings.

I feel ashamed to realize that the national newspapers in the Arab countries are allowed to reach this stage let alone to close down.

Few days ago, the Egyptian government supported its national newspapers which represented the media identity and history of the country.

It provided them with huge support that would enable them to continue. This support also ensured the staff and workers with the required job security.

The support was given for a valid reason, which was that these newspapers represented Egypt's national information voice regardless of the dominance of the numerous new media tools which attempted to change the equation.

This was a sincere loyalty to the national media forums, which undertook a great national role at difficult and critical times.

Here everybody knows from the Media Minister to the decision makers what our newspapers are passing through. The nation has no voice other than them.

The officials are aware that these newspapers are passing through difficult financial times. They are waiting for an intervention that will save them and preserve their dignity and the dignity of their staff.

At least these newspapers should be equated with the sport clubs in which millions of riyals were diffused to enable them to survive.

The newspapers are the mouthpiece of the citizen and the conscience of the nation. Is it asking you for too much to save the national conscience while you are quite capable of doing so?

August 28, 2018
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