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“New media momentum” as Libyan private papers launch – TV

BBC Monitoring

Text of report by Qatari Al-Jazeera satellite TV on 23 August

[Presenter] The Libyan media has recently witnessed several transformations. Two independent newspapers have been launched for the first time in the history of Libya, in addition to a satellite channel that is not under the control of the ruling party. Some believe that these developments are a prelude to the birth of an independent media in the Republic of Libya, while others believe the independence of the press remains a relative issue, be it in Libya or in the rest of Arab Maghreb countries.

[Al-Jazeera reporter Khalid al-Dib - recording] The launch of two independent newspapers nowadays has given the impression that the doors are now open for the private media corporations to join in the competition after an absence for more than three decades. The (Oyah and Korena) papers, which were issued simultaneously in Tripoli and Benghazi, are owned by Al-Ghad Media Corporation, whose stockholders are the Libyan Youth Organization, the Press Association, and the ! Social Development Fund.

[Mahmud al-Busifi, director of Al-Ghad Media Corporation] The press and radio stations provide services to citizens, including their right to exposing administrative and financial corruption, enlightenment, and to providing cultural and social services related to all aspects of culture, arts, sports, and literature. This is in addition to the real task; namely, giving true the facts on what is happening in our country and abroad.

[Al-Dib] Before that, Al-Libiyah channel started broadcasting, which marks an end to the public sector's monopoly of media outlets, using a media style which the Libyan people are not familiar with. This is an attempt to join in the true competition to win the local and Arab audience, who is overwhelmed by tens of satellite channels.

[Bashir Balla'u, director of Al-Libiyah Channel] Al-Libiyah Satellite Channel will be completely loyal to its name. Besides, its independence means it will present the image o! f the country as citizens see it, and not the country's image as it wa nts citizens to see.

[Al-Dib] Al-Libiyah FM radio station and Al-Shababiyah Radio have in turn contributed to this new media momentum after they were freed of the restrictions placed by the previous laws and made the official media as the sole spokesman for the society.

It is premature to judge the future of the Libyan media despite the positive changes it has witnessed over the past few years, particularly with regard to the opinion and the opinion of the other.

Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 0415 gmt 23 Aug 07



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