In fact, Abdul-Rahman was critical of the fact that the local Ministry of Finance had cut the budget that was meant to go toward buying local newspapers.
Obviously local journalists are feeling the impact, says Karwan Anwar, the secretary general of the Kurdistan Journalists’ Syndicate, although he doesn't have any accurate figures on how many publications might have closed or how many journalists might have been made redundant.
“Some channels are now trying to put into place temporary contracts,” Anwar told NIQASH. “In these the journalists agree that their salaries be treated like debts and that they will be paid when the media organisation finds a way to resolve the financial crisis. Some organisations have not paid their journalists for months.”
The financial crisis obviously also has an impact on locals' disposable income and how much they have to spend on magazines and newspapers.
Sankar Ali, who owns a print distribution company, Bilaf Baq, that is based in the city of Sulaymaniyah, estimates that around 18 publications have been forced to close because of the financial crisis. Ali believes that a lot more have closed in Iraqi Kurdistan but that he only has figures for those distributed by his company.
“There used to be a high demand for those magazines before the financial crisis,” Ali says. “But they were unable to keep publishing because of lower sales.” And although Ali couldn't talk about sales figures for other publications he confirmed that sales for newspapers and magazines they were still distributing had also seen significant decreases.