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Libya's partisan media skew perceptions

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Subject

Libya's media landscape.

Significance

Four years after the fall of Muammar al-Qadhafi, Libya is experiencing an unprecedented information war. Its media are divided along partisan lines, reflecting the country's deepening political and armed power struggle. Privately-owned media push their respective agendas and sometimes engage in incitement. State-run media have split into two camps, one aligned with the House of Representatives (HoR) government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni in eastern Libya, and the other with the self-declared government of Omar al-Hassi in Tripoli. The deliberate peddling by partisan media of false or misleading narratives is feeding the country's conflict and making prospects for consensus and reconciliation bleaker.

Impacts

  • The dearth of accurate, non-partisan reporting is skewing domestic and international perceptions of the conflict and efforts to resolve it.
  • The marked partisanship of Libya's media will cause armed and political groups to become more suspicious of broadcasters and the press.
  • This will lead to further harassment of and violent attacks on local and foreign journalists.
  • The information war risks further alienating a population already disconnected from the political process and state institutions.
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