Saturday, November 5, 2016

2016-11-05: Pro-Gaddafi Digital Newspapers Disappeared from the Live Web!

Internet Archive & Libyan newspapers logos
Colonel Gaddafi ruled Libya for 42 years after taking power from King Idris in a 1969 military coup. In August 2011, his regime was toppled in the so-called Arab Spring. For more than four decades, media in Libya was highly politicized to support Gaddafi’s regime and secure his power. After the Libyan revolution (in 2011), media became freed from the tight control of the government, and we have seen the establishment of tens if not hundreds of new media organizations. Here is an overview of one side, newspapers, of Gaddafi’s propaganda machine:
  • 71 newspapers and magazines 
  • All monitored and published by the Libyan General Press Corporation (LGPC) 
  • The Jamahiriya News Agency (JANA) was the main source of domestic news 
  • No real political function other than to polish the regime’s image 
  • Publish information provided by the regime 
The following are the Libyan most well-known newspapers which are all published by LGPC:



All Libyan newspaper websites are no longer controlled by the government

After the revolution, most of the Libyan newspapers' websites including the website of the Libyan General Press Corporation (LGPC) became controlled by foreign institutions, in particular, by an Egyptian company. Al Jamahiriya (www.aljamahiria.com/), El shams (alshames.com), and El Fajr El Jadid (www.alfajraljadeed.com/) became Egyptian news websites under different names: Jime News (www.news.aljamahiria.com/), Kifah Arabi (www.news.kifaharabi.com/), and El Fajr El Jadid Alakbaria while the El Zahf Al Akhdar (www.azzahfalakhder.com/) is now a German sport blog. Here are the logos of the new websites (the new websites remain with the same domain name except the alshames.com which redirects to www.news.kifaharabi.com/):


Can we still have access to the old state media?
After this big change in Libya with the fall of the regime, can we still have access to the old state media? (This question might apply to other countries as well. Would any political or regime change in any country lead to loss a part of its digital history?)
Fortunately, Internet Archive has captured thousands of snapshots of the Libyan newspapers' websites. The main pages of Al Jamahiriya (www.aljamahiria.com/), El shams (alshames.com), El Zahf Al Akhdar (www.azzahfalakhder.com/), and El Fajr El Jadid (www.alfajraljadeed.com/) have been captured 2310, 606, 1398, and 836 times, respectively, by the Internet Archive.

www.aljamahiria.com/ captured 2,310 times by the Internet Archive
www.azzahfalakhder.com/ captured 1,398 times by the Internet Archive

Praise for Qaddafi no longer on the live web
Although we can not conclude that the Internet Archive has captured everything due to the fact that the content in these newspapers was extremely redundant as they focus in praising the regime, the Internet Archive has captured important events, such as the regime's activities during the "2011" revolution, a lot of domestic news and the regime's interpretation of international news, many economic articles, the long process taken by Libyan authorities in order to establish the African Union, Gaddafi's speeches, etc. Below is an example of one of these articles during the Libyan "2011" revolution indicating the "there will be no future for Libya without our leader Gaddafi". This article is no longer available on the live web.          
From the Internet Archive https://web.archive.org/web/20

Slides about this post is also available:
--Mohamed Aturban

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