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Africa

Libya: Supporting media reforms

The Libyan state media are to undergo reforms. The EU Commission has asked DW Akademie to support the restructuring of broadcasters that once functioned as propaganda machines.

More than 6,000 employees currently work for Libya's state media that were once the mouthpiece of the former dictator Muammar Gadaffi.

Since his ouster the media sector has been undergoing extensive changes. The EU Commission has now asked DW Akademie to support Libyan media makers in restructuring the one-time state media into free and transparent media outlets. This will be a long-term process.

"Independent media and professionally trained journalists play a central role in processes of democratization," says DW Director-General Peter Limbourg. "We will be actively supporting Libyan institutions as they undergo reforms and continue providing professional training for journalists there." He points to Tunisia and Myanmar where DW Akademie is supporting similar restructuring processes and says the Libyan project is further proof of trust in DW Akademie's expertise.

Libya Rasmiya, state media (photo: DW Akademie/Martin Hilbert).

"Libya Rasmiya", state media

With a budget of approximately 3 million euros the project involves numerous aspects. In addition to providing intensive basic and advanced training for journalists, the focus will be on designing and applying an institutional framework for a public broadcasting system.

Non-state media will be included in the project and responsible ministries will be supported in creating a media regulatory body. The project aims to strengthen journalists' trade unions and publishers' associations as well as establish a press council and Libyan press passes. "It's important to not only support institutions in this process but also the journalists themselves," says Michael Tecklenburg, head of DW Akademie's Africa division. "The goal is to enhance their skills so that they become a vital component of democracy."

Al Shababiya, radio station in Tripolis (photo: DW Akademie/Martin Hilbert).

"Al Shababiya", radio station in Tripolis

The country's universities will be assisted in developing and carrying out independent research on general media usage in the country. The aim here is to professionally assess media consumption habits of the Libyan population.

The long-term project "Media in Libya - Stability through Structure" follows successful DW Akademie projects that began in Libya in summer 2011. All have focused on supporting the media in the post-Gadaffi era, with funding provided by Germany's Federal Foreign Office and the EU.

"We're pleased that the Libyans have confidence in this project," says Martin Hilbert, DW Akademie project manager and country coordinator for Libya. He points to Germany's own transformation processes following 1945 and 1989. "Being able to apply some of these experiences makes this project particularly special," he says.

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