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Anne Reevell's blog

Reevell: Libya's Media Frontline

To: The Media Development Network with The Communication Initiative

From Anne Reevell - BBC Media Action on Libya's Media Frontline. To respond and critique Anne's perspective or to add your knowledge on this important issue please either reply by email to this note or click Read More below and comment on the platform

Libya's Media Frontline

A month ago I shut the door on the house that has been my home in Tripoli and, with one suitcase, climbed into a convoy with a dozen or so other "internationals" being evacuated from Libya.

I'd been living in this beautiful but chaotic city for a year working with Libya's State TV station, Al Wataniya and the national news agency, LANA. Before the revolution these institutions were at the heart of Muammar Gaddafi's extensive propaganda machine. Now, under new leadership, both were finding their voices.

Like the rest of Libyan society, Al Wataniya has acutely felt the divisions and pressures of the unfolding power struggle. The Director General has been kidnapped twice. A large number of staff simply do not come to work.

Other staff, meanwhile work long hours to bring new public service values to the station's output through two programmes supported by BBC Media Action: Babah Maftouh (The Door is Open), a Libyan version of BBC's The One Show, and a debate show called Hiwar Mushtarak (Joint Conversation) which follows a similar format to the BBC's Question Time and gives members of the public the chance to question their leaders.

As I headed along the road to the border, I was worried about how our Libyan team would survive the coming crisis.

The Media Development Network