News consumption in Libya : A study of university students

2014-09-08T10:40:51Z (GMT) by Mokhtar Elareshi
The past decade has witnessed significant changes in the provision of news around the world. News flow has increased dramatically during this period, while technological developments have changed the media landscape (Gunter, 2010). The emergence of the Internet has provided a new news platform for established news suppliers, and opened up new access paths to audiences for new news providers, including private citizens (Allan, 2006; Gunter, Campbell, Touri and Gibson, 2009; Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, 2000). The digitisation of mainstream media, such as television, has also increased the overall volume of news. Increased channel capacity has spawned many new TV news channels (Ghareeb, 2000; Gunter, 2010). These changes have created a significantly more competitive news marketplace and many established news operators have experienced difficulties in maintaining their customer bases, which has had knock-on financial effects. Many print newspapers have had to cut their staff numbers (Kinsley, 2006), while radio and television newsrooms have also curtailed their operations to cut costs. Many news providers in the print and broadcast media have established new services on the Internet (Kinsley, 2006). They compete with each other on the same news platform. They also face competition from new news providers that operate only online (Vyas, Singh and Bhabhra, 2007). These changes have begun to affect the news landscape in Libya. The most significant development in this context is the emergence of new satellite TV news services (discussed in greater detail in Chapter 2). Also, more than 18 national and local radio stations have recently been launched (IREX, 2006). These services have proved to be very popular, so much so that their presence has given rise to anxieties among older, more established news providers in Libya, for example, Al Jamahiriya TV fears losing its audience to Al Libiya TV. There is, however, a dearth of data on how the changing news media landscape in Libya is affecting the public, and about public opinion concerning these developments. This book is an attempt to shed new light on these matters. It explores the use of news media in Libya and the nature of public perceptions about different news sources, both new and old. It also investigates which sources – old or new – have the greatest influence on public news awareness. [Taken from introduction]




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