Medielandskapet i Tunisia har blomstret etter revolusjonen, men det er tegn til at islamistregjeringen ikke helt vil akseptere frie medier.

More than 100 new print titles have appeared to serve a nation of just 10 million. Twelve new radio stations have opened and three new satellite channels are now on air.

Journalists no longer face intimidation, state censors have been sent home and a new generation has stepped into the fray.

In the bustling offices of Tunisia Live, an English-language online newspaper born in the throes of the uprising, groups of young journalists excitedly discuss the day’s hottest stories

Dette mangfoldet gjør at myndighetene må vise farve. Tåler de ytringsfrihet?

Formelt er man for ytringsfrihet, bare man ikke tråkker bestemte interesser på tærne.

Mest kjent er reaksjonen på den iranske filmen Persepolis, og bildet av den marokkanske fotballspilleren og hans tyske kjærest som var avbildet med bare bryst.

Men det er noen andre episoder som fortjener vel så stor oppmerksomhet.

The standoff between the media, dominated by secularists, and the government, now led by Islamist moderates Ennahda, reflects a broader struggle over identity in what has for decades been among the Arab world’s most secular countries.

Sitting in the whitewashed villa that houses the journalists union, Nejiba Hamrouni said the new government still viewed the media with suspicion.

«What we see daily is not a return to censorship, but efforts to influence journalists and guide them towards a particular editorial line, particular figures, particular issues,» said Hamrouni, elected to lead the union last year.


Secularists accuse Ennahda of pandering to conservatives who have become more assertive since the uprising.

In December, an Islamist preacher forced the new chief of Zaitouna radio, which mainly airs Koran recitals, out of her job. The preacher, Adel al-Ilmi, later won government approval to set up an NGO that seeks to promote Muslim values and would like to ban newspapers from publishing pictures of scantily-clad women.

Ilmi called it respect for religion. Securalists and journalists call it an attack on freedom of expression.

«The government is causing the problems, not us. They think anyone who criticizes them is an apostate,» said Saida Zoghlali, who was taking part in an anti-government protest outside the interior ministry on February 25.

«Anyone who criticizes them gets attacked.»

Zoghlali had been standing peacefully, holding up a placard, when police fired tear gas to disperse the demonstration, saying its allotted time was up. Several journalists covering the protesters who stayed were beaten and insulted by police.

The incident drew condemnation from both secularist groups and the journalists union. Though police violence against journalists has been rare since last year’s revolt, that day’s tactics were reminiscent of Ben Ali’s Tunisia.

Road ahead rocky for Tunisia’s newly liberated media