An exuberant proliferation of media outlets is emerging in areas controlled by Libya’s rebels. The ability to talk openly, publish, and broadcast without fear is an unprecedented freedom for a society repressed and heavily censored for decades, and one that is being seized with energy and enthusiasm. This is a monumental – indeed revolutionary – shift in Libyan politics and society, and is one of the key channels for the extraordinary level of energy released by the uprising. New initiatives include print and satellite TV; terrestrial TV and radio; multiple online collaborations; as well as cartoons, music, graffiti, theatre, and other forms. Free speech and free media are central rebel demands, which makes these new media efforts core to the uprising’s very image and identity, key to its mobilisation, and an early embodiment of some of the its main goals.
Matt Abud and Ben Moran conducted this assessment in eastern Libya and Misrata. The team visited Benghazi, Misrata, Ajdabya, Al Baida and Derna in May-June 2011.