In June, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki dropped the publication of government bid requests in national newspapers. The decision has been a blow to Iraqi papers, particularly independent Arabic-language papers, who receive 40 to 70 percent of their income from government advertising.
Although Iraqi papers also receive revenue from sales and private advertising - mainly from mobile phone companies and agencies distributing American political advertising - these sources of income are dwarfed by government spending.
This is not the first time papers have been victim to the whims of politics. In December 2005, Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaffari ordered ministries not buy advertisements from independent papers, however, the orer was later withdrawn.
The new measure by al-Maliki has coincided with the establishment of a new newspaper linked to his Al-Dawa party, Al-Bayan.