Lebanon: The Better Daily Star Project

“We Love You, We Just want you to dress better…” is how the Lebanese Blogger/Graphic Designer Mustapha (aka Beirut Spring) introduces the project. He's addressing The Daily Star (online edition) which is the one of the web's leading source of Lebanese and regional news.

Annoyed by how the website looks today, he decided to redesign their website and self host a mock up (with real data) using the famous CMSWordPress“. He said:

Isn't their website quite the eyesore?
I live abroad. I don't have access to the printed edition. All I have is the website, and man reading that thing makes me feel like my eyes have been wearing tight shoes all day.

So I figured I'll try to do something about it. I have a background in web design and I dabbled a bit in journalism. I'm very motivated, so i was like screw it: i'm doing this.

Here's how the current and official Homepage Looks like:

How the Current/Official Daily Star Homepage Looks like

How the Current/Official Daily Star Homepage Looks like

And here's the new design and how the Homepage can be improved:

The Daily Star Project Redesign by Beirut Spring

The Daily Star Project Redesign by Beirut Spring

He also explains the reason behind this in the FAQ page of the project.

And it's not just Beirut Spring‘s opinion; The Lebanese blogosphere agrees and supports the idea as well. Lebanese blogger Qifa Nabki supports the redesign. He said:

The Beirut Daily Star newspaper has one of the worst websites I’ve ever seen. It is slow, clunky, and hideously ugly. The navigation is awful and it crashes browsers on a regular basis.

Richard Hall, the International Editor at The Daily Star, Beirut, loved the idea and urged the readers to contact the editors if they also the see the current design too hard to navigate. He said:

If anyone who reads my blog also reads The Daily Star and, like me, finds the website about as easy to navigate as 1920’s Russian steam boat, feel free to email the editor.

Rami, at his blog +961, also admired Mustapha's action of taking the matter into his own hands. He said:

What to do when you’re just fed up waiting for something to happen? Best thing is to take matters into your own hands!

The project has become popular in the Twitter realm as well. Lebanese tweeples supported the project. Below are some of the reactions:


@Beirutspring I liked #BDSP Better Daily Star so much better than actual state of the official website that I created http://bit.ly/betterds


@Beirutspring I just saw your Better Daily Star project, it is excellent, bravo! Might start reading bits again if they follow your lead!


LOVE @Beirutspring‘s #BDSP initiative !!!!

For more info and to follow the project's progress, visit the project's blog and/or follow the twitter hashtag #BDSP(Better Daily Star Project)

Also on Global Voices Online:

Lebanon: Bloggers push for Daily Star Revamp

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