During the reign of Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has rated as one of the least free countries in the Arab region – also in terms of freedom of expression. In the now liberated north-eastern part of Libya, all media outlets were tightly controlled by the regime. Most media workers interviewed by IMS in Benghazi in May and June 2011 agreed that the news disseminated during the 42 years of Gaddafi’s reign was “irrelevant”. No media reports on internal or foreign politics could be trusted as all media was entirely controlled by the state.
The 17 February “revolution” and “liberation” of north-eastern Libya has left the media in this region in a new situation, free of restrictions of the regime. This has resulted in a boom of new and more independent media. However, most of these are still embryonic and in need of professional skills.