English-language weekly Egypt Independent, website at risk of closure

Ahram Online, Monday 18 Feb 2013

News team at Al-Masry Al-Youm's English-language newspaper/website Egypt Independent launch subscription drive in hopes of avoiding closure due to financial losses

Egypt Independent

The Egypt Independent, an Egyptian English-language weekly published by Al-Masry Al-Youm news organisation, announced on Monday that Al-Masry Al-Youm had agreed to reverse an earlier decision to "immediately" close down the weekly publication.

In a Monday statement on Facebook, Egypt Independent's editorial team said that the parent organisation had "granted us time to work on making [the publication] a sustainable venture."

They added that they were "optimistic" and would continue to fight "for this project to remain alive."

The team first announced on Sunday that the privately-owned Al-Masry Al-Youm news organisation had told them that both the publication and website would be shut down.

"We have been notified by Al-Masry Al-Youm management that our newspaper can no longer continue to exist due to financial losses sustained by the organisation last year," read the statement published by the Egypt Independent team on Sunday.

In an effort to challenge the decision, which had initially been described as "final," the paper's editorial team has tabled several "cost-cutting and revenue-generating measures."

For one, the team has been encouraging readers to subscribe to the weekly print newspaper.

The team's statement went on to say that Al-Masry Al-Youm management had been trying to cut losses by "mainly targeting Al-Masry Media Corporation's recent investments, including Al-Siyasy [weekly magazine published in Arabic, founded in August of last year] magazine."

Egypt Independent was established as a website in 2009 by the privately-owned Al-Masry Al-Youm news organisation, which has published a popular Arabic-language daily since 2004. In 2011, Egypt Independent began publishing a weekly print edition.

"We want to continue reporting with honesty, integrity and a critical voice, especially at a time when the current administration and ruling party are hiding the truth about their commitment to the revolution and its democratic aspirations from the world," the Egypt Independent team said in its appeal. 

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