The media outlets in Tunisia have experienced numerous challenges before and even the challenges are prevailing in the present days. The media outlets are unable to express freely their thoughts and emotions. In fact, liberation of opinion is curbed in the country in many dimensions. The Tunisian censorship on media is considered as the largest barrier that hampers the free movement of speech. The change in the government after 2011 had brought some positive changes that helped the media outlets to shine a bit. Since the beginning, the media outlets, particularly the newspapers followed a special way to publish their news and information.
The media outlets mostly praise the government policies and their activities. They do not criticize any of the state policies for the censorship imposed on them. And this trend has been going on from a long ago. Earlier, there are events that many of the newspapers were closed down for anti-government stance. In fact, publication of independent views was discouraged for the newspapers. And even in the present age, this is almost impossible for many of the newspapers and other media outlets to express the real and authentic news that goes against the government. They use the self-censorship to avoid such issues.
Regarding the use of the language, the newspapers and the other media outlets use a couple of languages. They use the Arabic, Tunis and some other local dialect. The application of the English language is also seen in some cases. Besides, they also use the French language as well to publish their respective outlets. Though the application of the French language is not appreciated, the Arabic-language newspapers publish their news which is translated from the French.
Radio is one of the most popular modes of communication. Amid the other types of media outlets, radios play the most important role. Though the number of readerships of newspapers is moderate in the country than the neighbors, the people love to listen to radio programs. In fact, the radios have occupied the audiences for their shows and programs. Besides, the radios are available across the nation. And access to radio is also available for everyone. The use of television is a bit thinner than that of radio. Access to television is not available everywhere across the country.
Majority of the media outlets, particularly the newspapers have no strong capacity to support themselves. So, they take subsidies from the government. One thing is common in the case of subsidy distribution. The government does not have any discrimination in disseminating the subsidies. Both the pro-government and anti-government outlets get the subsidies in equal portion. Besides, the government also pay subsidies in purchasing tools and materials for the publication of the newspapers which is not available in the neighboring countries. And this is a great way to have some sort of indirect control and censorship on the newspapers and other media outlets.
The issue of censorship is highly prevalent in the country. The media outlets are unable to print and publish some specific issues. They are also unable to criticize the religion, the state and punitive measures are taken if they violate the rules. In fact, a good number of newspapers had been under threat of suspension when they published such news and information. They were harassed and even brutal attacks were made on them with the charges of censorship violation.
Though the local media of the country tries to prove itself as a pro-western type media, this is an almost tougher job for them. The surrounding environment is not suitable for them though the media outlets are growing. Arguments have been issued about the matter but there were no specific solutions in this regard. The critics of the government in the media outlets are unable to grow heavily for the impediments imposed on them.
Over 10 newspapers are available in the country. But not all of them are functional. Most of the newspapers are inactive. However, the newspapers contain a wide number of news and information for the readers. They come with some generalized news and information. The circulation of the newspapers is also notable. A good number of readers across the country have their access to the newspapers. Some of the newspapers have their online presences as well. People who are unable to read the printed version access the online versions. The newspapers maintain a sense of self-censorship. They do not publish any news and information which may hamper the peace and stability of the nation.
Twenty-nine radio stations are operating in the country and they provide a good number of news to the listeners. In fact, the radios are the primary source of information to the rural people. The radio stations have their certain types of audience group for whom they produce their contents.
Five television stations are operated in the country. They have different types of news and shows for the country. The television stations run the programs in different languages. The news and shows are highly viewed in the country amid different ages of people. This is also a great source of entertainment for the people.
The use of the internet is an upsurge in the country. a good number of people are now having their access to the internet. They use the internet for browsing the web version of the local newspapers. Sometimes, they also use the internet to communicate with their social media networks.