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This paper reports survey findings on Libyan university students’ perceptions of the credibility of two local channels – Al Jamahiriya TV and Al Libiya TV – and two pan-Arab television news channels – Al Jazeera TV and Al Arabiya TV. Respondents were asked to evaluate the credibility of these televised news services on a series of five-point bipolar scales (e.g., fair or unfair). In general, the pan-Arab television news services were given higher credibility scores than the local television news services. Higher credibility ratings however were significantly correlated with an increased likelihood of reported watching of both local television news services, but only one of the international television news services (Al Jazeera TV).

This paper reports survey findings on Libyan university students’ perceptions of the credibility of two local channels – Al Jamahiriya TV and Al Libiya TV – and two pan-Arab television news channels – Al Jazeera TV and Al Arabiya TV. Respondents were asked to evaluate the credibility of these televised news services on a series of five-point bipolar scales (e.g., fair or unfair). In general, the pan-Arab television news services were given higher credibility scores than the local television news services. Higher credibility ratings however were significantly correlated with an increased likelihood of reported watching of both local television news services, but only one of the international television news services (Al Jazeera TV).

It is important to note that these changes have long preceded the internet, which has been routinely invoked in defence of further consolidation and cutbacks. Forty years ago, as a wave of death and consolidation swept local media, a study of the roles of the provincial press in the UK found that they carried out four central functions that were being lost as a result of closures and mergers: 1) fostering a sense of community identity and cohesion, and facilitating individual integration; 2) conveying political, institutional and cultural information and analysis, and creating a historical record of community affairs; 3) providing a platform for debate and complaint; and 4) publicising goods and services available, situations vacant, and announcements and notices (Jackson 1971).

It is important to note that these changes have long preceded the internet, which has been routinely invoked in defence of further consolidation and cutbacks. Forty years ago, as a wave of death and consolidation swept local media, a study of the roles of the provincial press in the UK found that they carried out four central functions that were being lost as a result of closures and mergers: 1) fostering a sense of community identity and cohesion, and facilitating individual integration; 2) conveying political, institutional and cultural information and analysis, and creating a historical record of community affairs; 3) providing a platform for debate and complaint; and 4) publicising goods and services available, situations vacant, and announcements and notices (Jackson 1971).