Beirut, Asharq Al-Awsat—Diana Fakhoury is a Lebanese media figure who has worked in the profession for roughly a decade. Her career has taken her from writing for a print newspaper as an intern through to her current position working for Murr Television, or MTV Lebanon, one of the leading television stations in the country and the region.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, she described the modern media as “marginalizing” their counterparts in the traditional media, particularly veteran journalists. She described how such pioneers dedicated their lives to building and developing the media of today.
“If I were to choose between the modern and traditional media, I would definitely choose the latter, because it is more professional,” she explained. “What bothers me is when people underestimate my intelligence.”
Fakhoury thinks that working with visual media was harder in the past, when the career path was long and laborious. Those involved had to go through several stages before their work appeared on the screen. Any audio recording required a hundred approvals. Presenters had to take lessons in public speaking and linguistics before standing in front of a camera.
In contrast, it has become much easier and quicker today. She considers that today “we are witnessing linguistic massacres on air committed by some news outlets and journalistic investigations, and it is disgraceful.”
Her years in journalism began after graduating from the College of Information and Documentation at the Lebanese University. She recalls how, as an intern, “The first topic to have my name on it [in 2003] was about economic problems with some cooperatives that had gone bankrupt and were forced to close their doors. I took up the story for a whole year and I was happy to be able to shed light on the problem objectively. . . . I still have these articles, which were my first steps in the profession.”
After a while working in print, she transferred to visual media. “There was no specific reason that prompted me to move to the world of visual media, but overall I found it to be evolving—especially as we live in an image-orientated time,” Diana explained.
“I went for the small screen because it is a quick ticket to fame, which I wanted, but it wouldn’t take over my life. All of us in this career want to be known,” she added. “When I read my name on my newspaper article for the first time I felt on top of the world, so how would I feel if I was on television?”
“So it was that I got my first job in television at Future TV, where I worked as a reporter. But my first day there was unfortunately not one of the happiest days of my life—quite the opposite, because it was the day prime minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated. It was a dark day, and I felt like my face was unlucky or jinxed.
“Immediately after, rumors began circulating about the possibility of the station closing down, and I was afraid that I had lost my first opportunity in television. But circumstances dictated that it the channel should continue.” Since then, Fakhoury’s career has likewise continued.
But she did not aspire to follow in others’ footsteps or try to imitate other media figures. “Yes,” she admits, “I was following Giselle Khoury, Najwa Qassem and Marcel Ghanem, but I rely on myself for everything.”