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Article
Publication date: 6 May 2021

Miral Sabry AlAshry

The purpose of this study is to investigate Libyan journalists’ perspectives regarding the media laws Articles 37,132, 38 and 46, which address media freedom in the new…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate Libyan journalists’ perspectives regarding the media laws Articles 37,132, 38 and 46, which address media freedom in the new Libyan Constitution of 2017.

Design/methodology/approach

Focus group discussions were done with 35 Libyan journalists, 12 of them from the Constitution Committee, while 23 of them reported the update of the constitution in the Libyan Parliament.

Findings

The results of the study indicated that there were media laws articles that did not conform to the international laws and United Nations treaties, which the Libyan Parliament committee approved. Another finding from the journalists was the Constitution should provide and guarantee press freedom, while media laws articles approved to put a paragraph about “censorship” in the press and media as a tool to silence government opposition. In addition, journalists indicated future constitution should redraft Article 38 to conform with Article 19 of the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” to support the “principles of freedom of expression and information” without control. Moreover, Article 46 needs to be changed and linked to the “provisions of international law on the right of information access” to improve the access and dissemination of information in the media.

Practical implications

Redrafting the constitution articles in the future can be summarised as follows: First, the Libyan Constitution should provide and guarantee press freedom without any censorship and include clear articles to protect journalists in conflict zones. Second, Articles 37,132 and 38, about “freedom of information and publication,” need to be redrafted to link with Article 19 of the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” to support the principles of freedom of expression and information, and the use of this right must not be subject to prior control. Third, Article 46 needs to be changed and linked to the provisions of “International law on the Right of Access to Information” to improve access and dissemination of information in the media to protect confidentiality sources. The most important articles should be implemented (freedom of information and personal information act) because after the Arab Spring revolutions, there was a transitional period in societies and a change in the constitutions of Tunisia and Egypt. They developed legal articles about media freedom so that Libya resembles other Arab countries. From that point, the journalists recommended that all information should be protected from government interference to ensure transparency, combat corruption and protect independent journalists. These articles will open the way to add more development articles to media freedom rules in the Journalists’ Syndicate. Fourth, there are also various types of threats encountered by journalists in their work. In pursuit of their right and freedom of expression, they recommended that Libya must establish an independent self-regulatory media that are free from political and economic influence. Fifth, journalists need licenses for them to work through the syndicate. The new syndicate should play an active role to safeguard the rights of journalists, activists and media entities to carry out their work and end the self-censorship. Sixth, the constitution should also add articles to end the impunity and change the articles in the penal code. Overall, the journalists covering the conflict and war are encountering threats, violence and imprisonment. As a result, Libyan journalists must seek new legislation to defend independent journalism and freedom of expression in their deeply divided country. In addition, they need to have a strong central authority to defend journalists and journalism in wartime, where journalists are regularly threatened, abducted and sometimes killed. Also, the Libyan Journalists Syndicate should stress the importance of the media’s self-regulation to guarantee their rights to freedom of expression, grant their readers’ respect and minimise government’s interference. Finally, they need to develop new laws to grant media freedom from regulations and restrictions, as well as defend and promote democracy, the citizens’ right to be informed, as well as their right to discuss and disseminate information. There is also the need to implement articles in the constitution, articles about the protection of political speech, which would be specific enough to differentiate between what is legally permitted and what may be ethically offensive.

Originality/value

This study will help the new Libyan parliament after the legislative elections on 24 December 2021 to amend the media laws articles in the constitution.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 10 June 2021

Claudia Seabra, Miral AlAshry, Kevser Çınar, Irfan Raja, Manuel Reis and Najma Sadiq

The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of the acceptance of national governments’ restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic on the citizens’ safety…

2508

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of the acceptance of national governments’ restrictions imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic on the citizens’ safety perceptions of daily life and future plans. In particular, the aim is to examine the relationship among the citizens who belong to Generations Y and Z and who represent the future of tourism markets, as tourists and as host communities, in three important receiving countries, namely, Egypt, Portugal and Turkey.

Design/methodology/approach

This pilot project gathers data from three important receiving countries located on two continents involving 348 residents from Generations Y and Z. To identify the factors underlying the “acceptance of restrictions and measures” and the “Impacts of the COVID-19 threat on safety perceptions” a factor analysis was carried out. Notably, Pearson's correlation coefficient and a multiple linear regression analysis allowed to analyze the relationships between the two factors and a Kruskal–Wallis test was used to assess the influence of individuals’ country of residence.

Findings

The results reveal that in general, young generations accepted the measures and restrictions imposed by the respective governments. In addition, the present pandemic has a strong impact on their safety perception in daily lives and future plans to travel. Moreover, results prove that between the three countries there are dissimilarities showing that the countries' situation regarding COVID-19 influences those two dimensions.

Research limitations/implications

This study adds to the development of studies on the impacts of health risks in tourism activity, specifically on the safety measures adopted and their impacts on local receiving communities. It shows that the current pandemic is severely affecting the daily lives and plans for the future of citizens and tourists, which is in accordance with previous studies.

Practical implications

The outcome of this study paves the way for policy-makers in the tourism industry because it presents experiences from Generations Y and Z members, future customers and tourist products consumers, but also from receiving communities.

Social implications

The results of this study bring some light on how local communities, specifically, the younger generations, are facing this pandemic period and on the impact it has on the way they face daily life, future plans and on their level of acceptance of a sector as important as tourism.

Originality/value

To the knowledge, besides the relevant studies already conducted on the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the tourism field, no study has yet been carried out to analyze how residents have reacted and accepted the restrictions and security measures imposed by their national governments and their impact on residents’ feelings and perceptions, daily lives and travel plans. Furthermore, the specific impacts of this crisis will have on the younger generations are yet to be analyzed.

Details

International Journal of Tourism Cities, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-5607

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 February 2022

Miral Sabry AlAashry

The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which Arab Governments limited freedom of expression and access to information for journalists while they…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which Arab Governments limited freedom of expression and access to information for journalists while they reported on COVID-19-related issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Focus group discussions were conducted with 20 journalists from Egypt, Jordan, Libya and Tunisia.

Findings

The results of the study indicated that journalists in these countries experience violence in many forms as follows: torture, imprisonment, closure of their websites and censorship of content. In the four countries investigated, the results revealed that there is severe censorship (self-censoring and the governments) of the content presented to the public, an element that is inconsistent with the Arab Constitution, as well as international law, thus violating human rights laws. In addition, governments publish COVID-19 misinformation and at the same time, do little to support an independent media environment.

Practical implications

Arab societies are in dire need of freedom of expression and the right to access information to give journalists an opportunity to cover the news during the pandemic.

Originality/value

This study is important because it investigates the political changes that occurred after the Arab Spring revolutions in three countries, Egypt, Tunisia and Libya and the freedom of expression and rights is still restricted. In the same way, Jordan is a royal government that is trying to achieve democracy under a dictatorial regime. This study attempts to suggest practical solutions for journalists through various stakeholders by highlighting the importance of access to information and freedom of expression, particularly during the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. These freedoms are critical for journalists to provide health officials with information, improve the efficacy of public health interventions through feedback and prevent the spread of misinformation.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

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