The Web resources below provide you with background information about the Libyan #Feb17 revolution. Now, in 2012, one could even say that these sites define the historical context of the year 2011 with regard to Libya’s struggle for freedom. We’ve included news aggregators here, but all listed resources were and are run by Libyan revolutionaries (except of Al Jazeera, of course).
Although many news outlets, like Al Jazeera, New York Times, Guardian and countless others, produced literally tons and tons of coverage, most of these media weren’t able to deliver the news without following a quite distanced view on Libya and its brave revolutionaries, despite their reporters on the ground.
The best example showcasing the failure of all the mainstream media is the term “stalemate”, which was dominating the headlines and reports on Libya constantly. Reporting mostly from behind (Benghazi, Tripoli, even Cairo, Tunis, London or wherever far away), western journalists depended on maps of Libya to track the progress of the revolution. What they didn’t see, despite their personnel on the ground, were the changes from within.
Whilst the trackable front lines didn’t move much for months in most areas, the revolutionaries strengthened their positions, and gained reach, continuously. On the other hand, Gaddafi’s forces were thinned out just as well so continuously, and the whole regime lost its grip on power day-by-day, what eventually became visible in August 2011 (at the latest), when it finally imploded in a big bang.
So the Libyan revolution told the mainstream press a lesson. It’s not possible to cover a popular uprising, where the majority of the people struggles to topple a ruthless regime over many months, applying criteria that were invented to judge loss and gain in a conventional war. Front lines are rather meaningless. It’s way more important to measure the support for the revolution on one side, and the actual standing of the tyrannic regime on the other side. The mainstream media still has to develop this approach. That’s a huge challenge, with regard to the ongoing Arab Awakening.
As a side note, the above said goes for the post-revolution coverage, too. Just because the Libyan revolutionaries won the bloody war which a cruel dictator launched on his very own people, that doesn’t mean that a country without democratic –or even working!– structures can switch over to a full-blown democracy, western standards applied, a day after the last thug fighting for the former regime died or got captured.
So all the wannabe saints, who condemned the well deserved death of the deceased dictator, as well as other events during the fighting or directly after the victory of the Libyan people, that didn’t exactly follow a human rights watchers view on political correctness, should better shove the truth about their very own government’s actions –which were dealing with Gaddafi over decades for the sole sake of their GDP, strategic interests, or whatever– down their hypocritical throats, and shut the fuck up.
Better follow Libya how it creates itself as a free country out of the ashes of the war that ended four decades of tyranny, and praise the Libyan people for their achievements. Despite very few incidents, there’s peace in Libya, and the reconciliation process has been started.
I (Sebastian) wrote that from an outsider’s point of view. I may be totally wrong. Of course I followed the western media, especially journalists who reported from inside Libya, and Al Jazeera’s live stream was opened in a pinned tab during the conflict, but I also read tens of thousands of tweets, posts, blog comments and so on from Libyans who actually participated in the revolution, as well as I followed many expats who even in the diaspora had better sources than the western press.
Every serious reporter could have done that, too. Unfortunately, it seems as if the big media companies don’t allow their staff to invest much time in research. It’s way easier to rewrite a Reuters feed. As for Reuters –reiterating mostly lies from the mouth of Moussa Ibrahim al-Gaddafi annoying and verbally torturing journos jailed in the Rixos hotel in Tripoli–, in my humble opinion that was the best source of disinformation about Libya, ever. Of course, there were occasional exceptions, thanks to very few brave and honest Reuters journalists on the ground.
Anyway, surf the links below, follow their navigation that takes you back to 2011, to create your own picture. Thanks for your time listening to my rant!
There’s no particular order, just pick a link and jump into the very recent history of a now free country, Libya.
Shabab Libya, operated by the Libyan Youth Movement, not only was, and is, the most comprehensive news aggregator compiling nearly every bit and byte published on the Libyan revolution across the planet, it comes with tons of insider information, too, including a forum, fundraising campaigns, and whatnot.
Feb 17th Libya News acted as a news aggregator, re-publishing many articles from newspapers all over the world, but also maintained, and still maintains, sections like a huge archive of videos and images covering the Libyan revolution, documents, and more.
Alive in Libya is a blog that not only published background stories during the revolution, it also reports regional events and provides lots of video coverage.
Al Jazeera English clearly was the most timely as well as (usually) accurate source of information during the Libyan revolution. Their Libya Live Blogs, in depth articles, news items and live stream deeply covered the revolution from the very beginning on February 15th, 2011, over the victory, until today. Their blog posts attracted over 10,000 comments per day, another great resource if you can manage to navigate through the Disqus system which clearly got overwhelmed by that much user interaction.
If you read Arabic, please proceed to the corresponding links page in the Arabic section. Thank you.
To follow Libya’s post-revolution progress, check out these links:
Libya Herald The new independent Libya Daily
Libyan Tweep Forum Daily news, opinions, insights, and a great community
The Tripoli Post‘s Libya news