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September 12, 2011 / lizatwood

Libyan free press is a work in progress

How does one begin to create a free press in a country that just a few months ago had no foreign journalists and no independent media? That is the challenge in Libya where the fighting continues and where rebels are still trying to establish a government. A small American company is trying to provide the knowledge and training to new citizen journalists in the country. As this report from ABC news points out, the challenge isn’t so much in training the professionals to become journalists as in training the new government leaders to accept an independent and critical press.

Brian Conley, founder of Small World News, has teams training journalists in Egypt, Iraq and Bahrain as well as Libya. His group starts with the basics: using multiple sources, answering the 5Ws and checking facts. A plan is in the works to find funds to equip these new reporters with cameras and recorders. But as Conley hints, it isn’t clear how much press freedom the new government will allow.

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