Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Media and Revolution in Lybia

Jacobo Quintanilla, Jamal Dajani

Resum


An exuberant proliferation of mediaoutlets is emerging in areas controlled by Libya’s rebels. The ability to talk openly, publish, and broadcast without fear is an unprecedented freedom for a society repressed and heavily censored for decades, and one that is being seized with energy and enthusiasm. This is a monumental — indeed revolutionary— shift in Libyan politics and society, and is one of the key channels for the extraordinary level of energy released by the uprising.

New initiatives include print and satellite TV; terrestrial TV and radio; multiple online collaborations; as well as cartoons, music, graffiti, theatre, and other forms. Free speech and free media are central rebel demands, which makes these new media efforts core to the uprising’s very image and identity, key to its mobilisation, and an early embodiment of some of the its main goals. A free rights-based media that is able to make positive contributions to the transition needs an increase in skills, an appropriate clear institutional and regulatory frameworks, and a public debate about just what Libya’s free media should and could look like.

While current expressions of agreement for rights-based media are strong, such a debate is still essential for future development —such media never simply emerge ‘automatically’. The higher the quality of the debate, the broader the discussion, the more effective the training and technical support, the better Libya’s media will become— with crucial implications for the country’s political, social, and economic development. Libya has many challenges in its future; with the right support, new media outlets will be able to make the strongest contribution possible to the transition’s political stability, its democracy, and its social cohesion. But preparation for these challenges needs to begin now.

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ISSN paper: 1138-3305. ISSN electrònic: 2340-5007

Facultat de Comunicació Blanquerna. Universitat Ramon Llull.