Newsletter No 17 07 February 2006
News from the Media Scene:
Libya Says it Heads Toward Independent Media

Saif Al Islam Al Qadhafi, son of the Libyan leader Moammar Al Qadhafi, announced on 27 January the creation of a new private media company heading toward allowing private newspapers, radio and television news in Libya.

The new company, called 1/9 in reference to the date of the Libyan revolution (1 September 1969), will launch a radio station in March as an experimental program, an official of the company said.

He added that a satellite television channel should be launched within 2007. The company has also signed a contract worth 16 million US-dollars with the German company Heidelberg to build a new printing facility open to Western publications.

According to the official, publications as Le Monde or Newsweek will be distributed in Libya without censorship.

The official also said the company will also start publishing a daily in September in cooperation with the English Financial Times.

Libya has four state-owned newspapers, as well as a state television and a state radio-station. In 2005, Saif Al Islam Al Qadhafi criticized Libyan newspapers for being bland considering that nobody reads them. He also called for freeing the media from the state control.