It's snappy, fast-paced, high-tech, provocative, staffed mostly with young faces, and insists on defying the laws of media gravity. Lebanon's Murr Television (MTV) news operation is defiant despite repeated assaults on its journalists and a mother station forced to shut down for seven years for political reasons. The Lebanese Forces are feuding with rival channel LBCI TV's CEO Pierre El Daher over ownership of that station, which the LF founded and which El Daher has been running since LF chief Samir Geagea was jailed for a few years on charges of blowing up a church.
So critics said control of a channel like MTV would provide the LF with a platform, but Yazbeck denies any such affiliation. By making waves, MTV knows it's ruffling feathers in Lebanon's politicized and sectarian landscape but feels the impact and audience share justify it. Last month reporter Joyce Akiki and her crew were assaulted and their camera smashed in a village that is home to a large Shiite population while covering news of illegal construction on land purportedly owned by the Christian Maronite patriarchate. She accused the municipal policeman of barring them from shooting footage and acting like a Hezbollah militiaman. It charged MTV with turning it into a daily serial highlighting the Shiite residents' assault and their Hezbollah protectors on the innocent Maronites in the region. Another MTV reporter, Joelle Kozaili, was harassed when she covered building code violations near Beirut International Airport in the southern suburbs, noted as a Hezbollah stronghold.
She and a cameraman were taken for questioning by Hezbollah partisans as they tried to film illegal construction perilously close to the airport's runways. Lebanese broadcast media don't have a union and the LJU has no jurisdiction except over print media. The equally ineffective National Audiovisual Media Council, whose members reflect Lebanon's sectarian divides, didn't blink or issue a condemnation statement following the incidents.
Asked if MTV was intentionally targeting Hezbollah or the Shiites, Yazbeck replied: "When I'm covering civic issues, cleaning up (government) administrations, when I say people have a right to decent health coverage, that you have a right not to have potholes on the roads, who have I insulted? In June Yazbeck told the daily An-Nahar Lebanese TV stations lacked the feel for investigative journalism, adding that wrongdoers must be investigated, exposed, brought to justice, and held accountable.
His argument: journalists should uncover violations that hamper the rebuilding of the state and undermine it and the judiciary from doing their jobs.
It's the kind of attitude that got MTV in hot water in 2002, when major shareholder Gabriel El Murr ran for parliament and won against his niece Mirna, daughter of Michel El Murr, a former cabinet minister and legislator then allied with Syria and the pro-Damascus former president Emile Lahoud. According to Lebanon's electoral law at that time, media were barred from publishing or broadcasting campaign fare for a specified period prior to the vote, and faced indefinite closure if they veered off course. MTV was charged with broadcasting promotional programs to boost Gabriel El Murr's chances at the ballot box during that blackout so it was shut down and countless employees found themselves jobless overnight.
The MTV channel also broadcasts entertainment shows and has a sizeable production arm, which was also harmed by the closure. El Murr's and MTV's supporters complained the case was taken to extremes for political purposes. The electoral law was later amended with regard to media coverage by limiting penalties to a maximum shutdown of three days.


Fast forward to 2009 when MTV reopened with great fanfare and a state-of-the-art news operation that has been the envy of local and regional channels. The obstacles, he said, were financial and logistical and the fact MTV had set very high standards for itself.
Talk show host Walid Abboud, an earlier MTV stalwart who had moved to LBC, returned to his original station. In January 2009 MTV CEO Michel El Murr (Gabriel's son named after his politician uncle), said the relaunch was like rising from the dead. June 23, 2012, Chiba, Japan – Members of the South Korean pop group 2NE1 pose on the red carpet during the MTV Video Music Awards Japan event. Linkin Park performs on stage during the MTV Video Music Awards Japan event in Chiba, Japan, June 23, 2012. South Korean pop group 2PM performs on stage during the MTV Video Music Awards Japan event in Chiba, Japan, June 23, 2012. If you’re looking to give something up for Lent as a way to refocus your life on Jesus, here are 10 meaningful things you can give up for Lent this year. Social Media – Is social media the first thing you check in the morning and the last thing you check at night?
Television – How many hours a day are you plopped down in the living room watching something when you should be up doing something? Perhaps you need to give up your favorite television shows or television as a whole for Lent.4.
If not, unplugging from the internet for 40 days could revolutionize your relationship with God.5. If games have become a distraction to you, then this could be a very meaningful thing to give up for Lent.6.
Maybe a 40-day fast from anything sexual could be the first step towards getting your relationship with God right.7. Alcohol – I know you say you only drink socially and that you can stop anytime you want. Is staying up past midnight and scrambling out of the door at the last minute the next morning making you the person you want to be?
What if you covenanted to go to bed by 10 pm each night and set your alarm for 6 am every morning during Lent to spend time with Jesus before you left your house? Perhaps you’re perfectly content behind your door, behind your technology, behind your pets. Perhaps what God is calling you to give up for Lent is isolation, the emotional barriers you put up that keep you from doing life in community.
Perhaps your resolution for Lent is to get out of the house, be at church as often as possible, to join a small group and start doing life together.
Income – Are you ready to follow the biblical example of tithing and give 10% of your income to God?


Perhaps it’s a local church, perhaps it’s a Christian charity, or perhaps God is calling you to give it to someone in need, but what could God do in your life if you trust Him with 10% of your income for 40 days? What difference could God make through your faithfulness? Here’s what God himself says in Malachi 3:10, “’Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. When you’re finished with these forty days, you can start again on your own and tackle another area. When you give up food or social media or alcohol, it’s going to create a deficiency, a hunger in your life.
Join millions of other Christians across the world and leverage this opportunity to grow closer to God. Many churchgoers find themselves in this predicament every Sunday when the offering plate is passed around.
It’s best, however, to avoid giving this excuse after pulling up in your new leased vehicle, with Krispy Kreme crumbs still on your pants leg and a new iPhone 6 in your hand. Everyone assumes, of course, that since you’re spiritual enough to give when God leads, that means that God leads in all of your financial decisions, including that latest round of golf or that pedicure. But just because there are a few that abuse the system, that doesn’t mean the whole system is messed up.
In the New Testament, Jesus praised the widow not because she gave a lot, but she gave all she had. New Year’s resolutions can be a powerful opportunity to get things right in your life, to become a better you. If you want to be a better person, what are three ways that you want to be a better person.
If you want to be happier, what lifestyle changes specifically are you going to make to become happier?
If not, when the resolutions get tough, the temptation to give up will become overwhelming.
You need accountability, you need community to keep you on track when everything inside of you is screaming to get off.3). Now, you would expect me to say this because I’m a pastor, but I believe that God will make the difference between success and failure not only in your resolutions, but in your life. From decades of experience, I’ve seen people overcome the most overwhelming obstacles imaginable with the power of God.



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