Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Tunisian protests were 1st phase of a revolution: SUSI 2014 scholar

By Nisha Garud

Lectures on the role of media and their influence on the politics continued for the online international media class for Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) on Journalism and Media(SUSI) 2014, when Tunisian scholar, Sayf Mohamed , gave an insider’s account of how social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube enabled people to bypass the government censorship in his country and to overthrow the dictators.

Sayf Mohamed from Tunisia

Sayf said that the protest was not a revolution, as the Western media defined it, but it was only a first phase of an uprising. Tunisia is still in transition. The transition is from a strict media to a dynamic one. iled bloggers, activists and journalists were released after the government collapsed. For two months, the journalists were not sure if there was freedom of press. He also spoke on the status of women and said that women had equal status in Parliament and got the same salaries as men.

Sports dominate television content in Australia, said the scholar and lawyer Sarah Harmelink from Australia. This is because Australians love their sports, she added. Media companies owned by Murdoch and Fairfax dominate the media market. These companies dictate the media content. Talking about the growth of the internet, Sarah said, There is internet censorship and the police and the government have the right to ban websites. They have created blacklist of blocked content. Typically, there is no public scrutiny of such censorship. She added immigration was a major issue in Australia but the media do not give it much attention.

With three doctoral degrees and a United Nations ambassadorship serving to fight against tuberculosis, Ibrahim Awad from Sudan, said that factors like custom regulations, lack of paper, printing regulations, literacy problems, and slow marketing affect print media in his country. The media industry is not developed in Sudan. Media production centers cropped up as a result of photographing weddings, covering political issues, documenting educational events, said Awad, who has travelled to more than 20 countries. The government owns the cinema because movie production is expensive. Only 10 movies have been made till now in the country.

Radu-Mihai Meza from Romania said that the highest advertisement revenue was from television. The television market is worth about 193 million euros. He said, In Romania, businessmen have used the excess profits from illegal business to buy and start media companies. He added that media mogul, the Intact Media Group, controlled the major media. The owner was lobbying with the government and used the influence to stay out of jail. Radu-Mihai said that the print medium is slowly dying. The tabloid market was at peak in 2008 but started declining over the years.

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