In a bold move and a last minute appeal to its readers, the staff of Ma'ariv left its front cover blank today, sending a statement to those who have been following the paper's recent struggles that the events of today may very well determine the fate of the paper.
Employees of Israel's Ma'ariv daily newspaper are expected to tell the Tel Aviv District Court Tuesday that they oppose the proposed sale of the paper to publisher Shlomo Ben-Tzvi and the sale of the printing house to financier Amos Maimon, a deal which is worth an estimated 145 million NIS.
Representatives of the workers' committee said they were told that court-appointed trustees of the newspaper would cut 600 jobs and lower salaries, moves strongly opposed by the committee.
Today's blank front cover was used as a last minute appeal as the staff urged its readers to stand behind the paper.
"The page you hold in your hand is actually the first page of the newspaper Ma'ariv," the staff wrote, touching on the unknown ground in front of them as the fate of the paper and the security of their jobs have not yet been determined. "On this day, we feel that a great danger is still hovering over our future.
"We are using this stage, in an unusual way to turn to you (the readers) in simple words, 64 years after Ma'ariv was founded, coinciding with the greatest struggle in our history. In this place, one thousand words are not enough and no picture will be able to tell the story. Perhaps one white blank page will succeed in sending the message: We want to continue to be Ma'ariv."