Libyan Media in Transition

By the Institute for War and Peace Reporting, iwpr.net. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Libya Business News.

One year after Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was killed and his regime overthrown, Libya is still struggling to emerge from the chaos of revolution.

Despite an election in July 2012 that successfully established a parliament, the process of political transition continues to face big challenges and uncertainties, as a body of largely inexperienced lawmakers attempt to forge a representative government, something that was impossible during Gaddafi’s 42-year rule.

The media sector was for decades merely an extension of Gaddafi’s personality cult, but since his demise, the vacuum has been filled by many new TV, radio and print outlets unfettered by state controls.

The rapid expansion of both private and semi-state media comes also the need to greater professional skills. Many of the journalists producing reportage were never trained, but rather picked up pens and cameras as the uprising against the Gaddafi regime found its voice in those early months of 2011.

This brave but often unfocused dedication to documenting the achievements of the revolution has resulted in a media sector of widely divergent skills levels and motivations.

IWPR established offices in Libya in May 2012 to work with emerging broadcast and print outlets, and also informal and social media, with the aim of increasing their capacity to produce high- quality local, regional and national content.

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