Shams (newspaper)

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Type Daily
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) Turki bin Khalid bin Faisal
Publisher Shams Information Company for Publishing and Development
Founded December 2005
Language Arabic
Ceased publication February 2012
Headquarters Riyadh
Circulation 70,000[1]
Website Shams

Shams (in Arabic شمس meaning Sun) was a Saudi Arabian daily newspaper published between 2005 and 2012. Its publisher described the paper as modern and trendy.[1]

History and profile[edit]

Shams was launched as a tabloid paper in December 2005.[2][3] Turki bin Khalid bin Faisal, a grandson of Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud,[4] was the chairman of the board of directors of Shams Information Company for Publishing and Development that published the paper.[5] It was also reported that he partly owned the paper.[6] Al Wataniya group was also the founder of the daily.[7]

There is inconsistent information about the daily print of Shams. The media group publishing the paper gave the number of daily print as 120,000.[2] Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), on the other hand, in its 2006 report described Shams as a modest paper with the daily circulation of 40,000 copies.[6] The Group Plus stated the daily circulation as over 70,000 copies.[1] Shams was staffed mainly by Saudi journalists.[2]

Shams was being printed in Riyadh, Dammam and Jeddah.[1]

The daily was the first paper in Saudi Arabia, addressing specifically at large youth population.[2][3] Specifically, it targeted male and female Saudi readers between the ages of 18 to 35 who are interested in modern life-style, but also loyal to Saudi Arabia's conventional customs.[1]

Shams mostly covered general local Saudi news and other top news from the world.[8] The content of the paper was varied and insightful, ranging from political news and social issues to business news, and various international and local sports news. It also featured the latest Internet and technology updates, fashion, university topics, cars, and various other entertainment topics. It also attempted to cover the opinions and interests of today’s younger generation.[1]


See also; Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy

The publication of the Shams was suspended on 20 February 2006 after publishing one of the controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad that caused anger across the Muslim world due to their publication in the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005.[6][9][10] In fact, this cartoon was printed in Shams next to the articles calling for Saudis to take action against Denmark where the cartoons first published. The paper stated that the cartoon was published to initiate a campaign in Saudi Arabia against Danish interests and Denmark.[3]

On 21 March 2006, Shams was relaunched.[11] However, its 32-year-old editor Battal Koss was dismissed in late February 2006[12][13] and replaced by Khalaf Harby.[2]


At the beginning of February 2012, Shams was closed down due to the conditions beyond its management.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Shams Newspaper". Group Plus Media. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Addington, Tim (2 April 2006). "Suspended Saudi newspaper returns". Arabian Business. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Usher, Sebastian (20 February 2006). "Saudi paper 'shut' in cartoon row". BBC. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  4. ^ Karen Elliott House (18 September 2012). On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines - and Future. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 118. ISBN 978-0-307-96099-3. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  5. ^ "Dr. Khoja Patronizes Launch Ceremony of Shams Newspaper". Gulf in the Media. 2 May 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  6. ^ a b c Campagna, Joel (2006). "Saudi Arabia report: Princes, clerics, and censors". Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "New Daily to Target Saudi Young Readers". The Arab Press Network. 27 December 2005. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Shams newspaper". Araboo. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Saudi Arabia" (PDF). IREX. 2006. Retrieved 10 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Chronology: Saudi Arabia". The Middle East Journal. 60 (3). Summer 2006. Retrieved 4 September 2013.   – via Questia (subscription required)
  11. ^ "Shams Returns After Publishing Cartoons". The Arab Press Network. 28 March 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "Saudi Arabia - Annual Report 2007". Reporters Sans Frontieres. Retrieved 19 May 2012. 
  13. ^ Karin Deutsch Karlekar; Eleanor Marchant (2008). Freedom of the Press 2007: A Global Survey of Media Independence. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 263. ISBN 978-0-7425-5582-2. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "(Prince Turki bin Khalid: Circumstances forced us to stop the sun) لأمير تركي بن خالد: الظروف أجبرتنا على إيقاف شمس". Shams. 1 February 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012.