News / Africa

    Independent Media Emerge in Tripoli After Fall of Gadhafi

    Anti-Gadhafi fighters read a newspaper where a wanted poster for Moammar Gadhafi was published in Tripoli September 1, 2011.
    Anti-Gadhafi fighters read a newspaper where a wanted poster for Moammar Gadhafi was published in Tripoli September 1, 2011.

    Multimedia

    Independent news media are beginning to emerge in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, two weeks after the fall of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. They are pledging to help build democratic institutions that were never allowed to develop under his 42-year rule.

    It is evening in Tripoli and newly re-opened Radio Shababiya is broadcasting a show about the rebels who recently ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi from power.

    Just months ago, such a program would have been un-thinkable. This government-owned station was broadcasting pro-Gadhafi propaganda aimed at the same youth who helped bring Gadhafi down.

    Show host Mustafa Abdul Samad says during the Gadhafi era he worked for entertainment programs in order to avoid politics. But now it is different. “We can criticize anything. We can show our opinion and we can let the people express their feelings and their opinions about anything that they want to say without feeling afraid of being punished or being put in jail or our families will be hurt.”

    Station director Walid Ellafi is a 25-year-old former rebel. He says this station has a new role: To give listeners a place to talk freely about their country's problems and press the government for change.

    He says the small jihad, or struggle, was to change the regime. The big jihad is to develop the society.

    He plans to launch television broadcasts in a few months.

    Across town three editors, working in a converted shop, are preparing the latest edition of Tripoli's first independent newspaper. It is called Bride of the Sea (Aarous al-Bahr), a local nickname for Tripoli.

    Editor Fathi Ben-Issa has been working in the business for 30 years. He frequently clashed with the former regime's censors and at one point faced charges of undermining the government that carried the death penalty.

    During the fighting, he published anti-Gadhafi fliers while hiding in Tripoli. After the rebels took the capital, he rushed his first edition to the streets. It appeared last week.

    Ben-Issa says he intends to allow all opinions in his paper, including those critical of the new leadership.

    He says the Libyan people did not get a chance to work out their ideas and opinions like those living in the West. So he wants his publication to be what he calls a battleground of ideologies.

    Ben-Issa says in Tripoli at least six newspapers already are preparing to publish. In eastern Libya, which came under rebel control six months ago, more than 100 newspapers have appeared.

    Radio host Abdul Samad says the new freedoms bring new obligations. “This kind of freedom brings great responsibility to me and to everyone. We have to work for the best of this country. We have to improve Libya,” he said.

    These media pioneers say Libyans understand what they have been fighting against.

    But they say their society has never known the civic institutions needed to promote and protect the democratic freedoms they aspire to.

    As a result, they say there is much work to be done. And for now at least, they welcome the competition being born in studios and newsrooms across the city.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora