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Some critics believe that Arab media is one of the places where this can occur. Unfortunately, Arab media in its present state cannot be the agora of debate. The truth is, it’s still shackled and afflicted with the same problems that Simeon Djankov’s study on media ownership has found — wealthy elites manipulate the media to further their own agendas. Post-Revolution Independent Internet publications like Tunisia-live cannot compete with Internet giants who dominate the market. Disney alone controls over 30 Internet companies including ESPN and ABC news. The problem is further compounded by the vast powers that the state still exercises because it has inherited authoritarian media laws.

Opinion piece by Tam Hussein: “Innocence of Muslims” – A Case For Civil Society – citing this 2003 paper by Simeon Djankov et al on media ownership in 97 countries.

Some critics believe that Arab media is one of the places where this can occur. Unfortunately, Arab media in its present state cannot be the agora of debate. The truth is, it’s still shackled and afflicted with the same problems that Simeon Djankov’s study on media ownership has found – wealthy elites manipulate the media to further their own agendas. Post-Revolution Independent Internet publications like Tunisia-live cannot compete with Internet giants who dominate the market. Disney alone controls over 30 Internet companies including ESPN and ABC news. The problem is further compounded by the vast powers that the state still exercises because it has inherited authoritarian media laws.

Opinion piece by Tam Hussein: “Innocence of Muslims” – A Case For Civil Society – citing this 2003 paper by Simeon Djankov et al on media ownership in 97 countries.

[Originally published here on the WITNESS Hub Blog.]

I’m in a packed Budapest conference room, at the the Global Voices Citizen Media Summit.  Today’s sessions focus on practical tools and measures that networks of activists can take to counteract global censorship efforts.

Sami Ben Gharbia, the tireless Director of Advocacy for Global Voices, has just shown us a couple of examples of online video advocacy from North Africa.

First up, Tarsniper from Morocco, who filmed Moroccan traffic police taking bribes from drivers:
Sami says that these videos inspired many others to try the same tactics, and also that these videos resulted in the arrests of some officers, and the transfer of others.

His other example comes from Redeyef in Tunisia, where activists bypassed the block on video-sharing sites to upload videos showing recent protests in that city, protests that were met with violence and suppression from the government. The activists show the dead bodies of two protestors, and they show shells that they say prove the Tunisian authorities’ use of live ammunition:

More from the summit over the next hours…