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Libya: Media on the frontlines of revolution

Throughout the Arab Spring the narrative of democratic change sweeping through the Arab world played well in the international media. And in Libya those opposing the Gaddafi regime had a territorial base in Benghazi and spokespeople in the public eye that could engage with the media. A look at the spin-doctors working behind the scenes in the Arab spring.

When they marched on Tripoli the media followed, ostensibly embedded with the rebel fighters. That proximity helped the leaders of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) control the media message. But now that the Gaddafi regime has fallen and the country is in the hands of the NTC, journalists are having to shift their focus. No longer is the narrative dominated by the fight for Libya but rather who and what is left to run it.

Quick hits from Newsbytes: The government in Syria amends the country’s media laws but critics are not impressed; a former policeman is charged with plotting the murder of Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya; an Ecuadorian journalist flees the country after being found guilty of libelling President Correa; and WikiLeaks claims its website was cyber-attacked in the wake of its biggest release so far of confidential US diplomatic cables.

Since the beginning of the Arab revolutions, embattled regimes have faced a barrage of criticism in the press. To counter this, Arab dictators have employed the services of western PR companies to clean up their image. Consulting companies like the Washington-based Qorvis Communications and the London-based Bell Pottinger have been quietly working for governments in Yemen, Syria and Bahrain.

For these companies, as the bad press has grown worse for these governments, business for them has improved. But their work has pushed them into unfamiliar territory – under the spotlight and some have had to defend their business deals.

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Duration: 25:09
Country: Libya
Language: EN
Resolution max: 720p
Video Source: YouTube
Provided by: Al Jazeera English
Published on: 2011-09-06
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