From: The Listening Post

Tunisia’s multiplying media

Media outlets have multiplied in post-Ben Ali Tunisia, but with this plurality has come a whole new set of problems.

On Listening Post this week: Tunisia hosts World Press Freedom Day but can it host press freedom? Plus, how the Greek media has been hit by the financial crisis.

A year and a half ago, few would have thought that Tunisia would be the host of the United Nation’s annual Press Freedom Day. But a lot has changed since the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi – an act that sparked a revolt across North Africa and the Arab world. In post-Ben Ali Tunisia, the handful of media outlets that once served the dictator have multiplied into more than 100 outlets across print, radio, television and the web. However, with this plurality has come a new set of problems, as the factional struggles within the country manifest in the media. Our News Divide this week looks at how the media is caught in the middle of the fight for political power in Tunisia.

This week’s News Bytes: The Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram widens its war against the country’s media; Somalia’s al-Shabaab takes over a private radio station, the latest move in the ongoing battle between the Islamist group and the Somali media; an investigative reporter becomes the latest victim in Mexico’s drug-related war; in Brazil, a journalist known for criticising politicians is gunned down; and a look at why Bahrain’s foreign minister was tweeting about a documentary on human rights in Sri Lanka.

Greek media has seen better days. Until recently, the small country of 11 million people was home to a mammoth media sector of 11 television channels, 71 radio stations and more than 22 national newspapers. That media bubble burst when the financial crisis hit in 2011: major outlets have shut down, at least 4,000 journalists have been laid off and others are facing big pay cuts. Those who remain have little leeway to tell a more complete story. Major media outlets owned by big conglomerates have been accused of injecting their own business interests into editorial decisions, limiting their coverage to pro-World Bank and IMF agendas. This week, the media will be covering the first Greek elections since the beginning of the financial crisis, and Listening Post’s Marcela Pizarro looks at how the economic collapse has hit the Greek media itself.

With its clear, dry skies and lack of artificial light, the Atacama Desert in Northern Chile is considered an astronomer’s paradise, which is why it is home to one of the most advanced observational centres on the planet. Two photographers recently spent some time camped out there, taking more than 7,500 photographs of the stars and turning them into a stirring video – a celestial light show. Our Internet Video of the Week brings the Atacama skies to life and is fittingly called Astronomer’s Paradise. We hope you enjoy the show.


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