Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring and what many consider the success story of the revolutions. The country has just voted – for the second time since the fall of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on January 14, 2011 – in parliamentary elections and will hold presidential elections later this month.
Since the revolution, the media landscape in Tunisia has transformed. There is now a host of new media outlets, which sounds good on paper but in reality the market is saturated and unsustainable. As a result, many of those outlets rely on political funding for survival – never a good formula in an election year.
Under the old regime, censorship prevented the media from serving in the public’s interest. Today, to a lesser degree, political money and influence do the same thing. The revolution brought the Tunisian media their freedom. The one thing – despite all that political money – that most news outlets cannot buy, here in the birthplace of the Arab Spring, is journalistic credibility.
The Listening Post’s Nic Muirhead went to the capital, Tunis to see whether the media are meeting the expectations of the post-Ben Ali Tunisia.
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