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Writing between the ‘red lines’: Morocco’s digital media landscape

Abstract : This article presents an overview of the emergence of online news sites, which has radically altered news provision and media consumption patterns in Morocco. This sector has rapidly become a strategic site. Firstly, its precedence over print media and national television networks does not only stem from the high traffic figures of news websites. Along with certain social platforms, these websites are the only vehicules for 24/7 news in a country which currently has just one such news channel and where, in spite of the ‘liberalisation’ of media, national networks provide very institutionalised news programs based on the activities of the state official institutions and of the monarchy. Secondly, certain domestic Arabic-language news websites have become the main platform for the voicing of political dissent. Based on 31 interviews, the article briefly describes the historical development of the online press, since the ‘February 20th Movement’ of 2011. This case study provides a good example of the new challenges surrounding the control of information: an issue long shaped by the limitation of news provision to duly authorised political and journalistic organisations and by limited ‘demand’ resulting from widespread illiteracy. This article describes how the Moroccan establishment react to the explosive growth of online news media by creating new mechanisms to control it.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03019612
Contributor : Dominique Marchetti <>
Submitted on : Monday, November 30, 2020 - 4:20:11 PM
Last modification on : Monday, June 14, 2021 - 3:56:02 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Monday, March 1, 2021 - 6:10:11 PM

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Abdelfettah Benchenna, Dominique Marchetti. Writing between the ‘red lines’: Morocco’s digital media landscape. Media, Culture and Society, SAGE Publications, 2021, 43 (4), pp.664-681. ⟨10.1177/0163443720972316⟩. ⟨halshs-03019612⟩

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