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Libya: How authorities have blocked the story

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Rajan Datar | 17:52 UK time, Friday, 25 February 2011

Now in recent weeks on Over to You we’ve talked about the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, where both social and mainstream media enabled protestors to co-ordinate their movements and the rest of the world to witness the rapidly changing political landscapes.

Libyan anti-regime demonstrators gesture at a burnt police station in the eastern city of Tobruk. Picture: AFP/Getty

But in Libya the story has been very different. From the outset, Colonel Gaddafi’s government had a total ban on foreign journalists and even labeled those who got into the country as outlaws. The government also shut off the internet and some phone lines. So unlike the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, the global media has been left with very little to report.

At the time of writing, the situation in Libya is changing very quickly – in the programme we asked how have the authorities in Libya tried to control the story? And what exactly is being reported in Libya itself? To explore these questions I was joined from the BBC’s Monitoring Service by Abdallah Al Salmi who’s been watching and listening.

Meanwhile, as the BBC’s Serbian, Albanian, Macedonian and Portuguese for Africa sections all bid their farewells, I asked Liliane Landor, the World Service’s Controller Languages, what function the remaining services will have in the future?

The Over To You postbag has had plenty of replies from you after last week’s item looking at the scrapping of medium wave in Europe. Some listeners are frustrated that they’ll lose the World Service in their cars or in parts of the house where they don’t have an internet connection.

Others voiced their concern that the cuts would lead to the World Service eventually becoming little more than a rolling news service; and there was also a reminder of the importance of the World Service in understanding international relations.

Keep your emails and phone calls coming, we’re here to reflect your views.

 

Rajan Datar is the presenter of Over To You.

Over To You is your chance to have your say about the BBC World Service and its programmes. It airs at 00:40, 03:40 and 12:40 every Sunday (GMT).

 

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    In Libya the story has been very different; fFrom the outset, Colonel Gaddafi’s government had a total ban on foreign journalists and even labeled those who got into the country as outlaws.
    So unlike the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, the global media has been left with very little to report except the shootings, the massacres, Libyan planes shooting down their own people...and surely the BBC knew that the UK, US, France and India were sending warships - some airplane carriers - heavey military stuff and of course, the inevitable troops. Were you fooled because the troops are being called "defence advisors", that their function is being called trainers to the rebels?
    Is it Libya that has tried to control the story, or is BBC bias?

 

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