State newspapers Al-Thawra and Tishreen have been forced to reduce the number of their pages from 16 to 12 as a result of financial difficulties.
The decision was not the result of a decree from the Prime Minister or the Minister of Information; rather it was made by management, delivered verbally to staff and implemented immediately.
Sources from the government's media body told All4Syria that newspapers had reduced their pages on weekends months ago and that sometimes publication was cancelled for no specific reason.
Chief Editor of Tishreen newspaper, Raghda Mardini explained to employees that the reason of this reduction is related to difficulty importing paper. Reliable sources talked about serious problems with the printers and government's inability to maintain and provide them. This led to al-Thawra newspaper moving its print issue to the al-Baath newspaper's printing house.
The sources said one of the most important reasons is the difficulty in delivering newspapers to all Syrian governorates and the fact that residents in Damascus are no longer interested in reading the newspapers which lack a minimum level of honesty.
The sources said employees have complained about salary cuts, justified on the basis that they are late, without consideration of the security situation and the uncontrollable state of roads. The cuts target employees accused of being sympathetic with the revolution, the sources said.
The reductions have affected al-Watan newspaper, owned by Assad's cousin Rami Makhlouf, and Baladna newspaper, owned by the son of Major General Bahjat.