Attacks on the Press in 1996 - Tunisia
|Publisher||Committee to Protect Journalists|
|Publication Date||February 1997|
|Cite as||Committee to Protect Journalists, Attacks on the Press in 1996 - Tunisia, February 1997, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/47c5651b30.html [accessed 26 November 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.|
The press in Tunisia continues to stagnate under the nine-year-old presidency of Zine Abdine Ben Ali. Despite the existence of privately owned newspapers, few journalists dare to report news that might antagonize the government, for fear of reprisal. By and large, the practice of self-censorship has become institutionalized within the journalistic profession. Over the past two years, local and foreign correspondents have learned that being critical of the government in their reporting could easily get them dismissed from their jobs or earn them a one-way ticket out of the country. The private press is further squeezed by its reliance on advertising revenue from state-owned companies.
Despite the passive nature of the media, the ministry of information reviews all newspapers, particularly foreign ones, in order to weed out undesirable news and ensure total compliance with the government mandate for acceptable journalism. Among the casualties of state censorship were the French-language newspapers Le Monde and Liberacion. Authorities banned more than 60 issues of Le Monde alone during the course of the year.