Window to Algeria
The media in Algeria is not totally independent. Other mass media such as Television are State controlled, and draconian laws inhibit printed media. Reporting is a hazardous vocation in Algeria, and scores of journalists have been killed, allegedly by extremist groups with religious links. Newspapers in Algeria mark a day each year to protest against the situation.
It is natural that local newspapers should be in the local language or in French, which makes it even more difficult for the outside world to know about the goings on in the country. The absence of serious critique of governance is an important impediment for the equitable and secular development of the country.
The Internet may not be as accessible in Algeria as in the developed world, but the facility has shown remarkable growth. People and organizations can use the World Wide Web, have their own websites, and take advantage of electronic mail. The government, whether because of ignorance or by design, has not come down as heavily on criticism in this medium as it has on the mainstream elements. Even the online edition of the government newspaper El-Khabar has deigned to criticize issues such as delayed payment of wages in some sectors.
The Algiers Post in English fills an important void in showcasing the real Algeria to the world. It has an attractive website, and covers a broad range of topics, both domestic and international in character. The World News Network which is responsible for the Internet publication has done a commendable job of putting a vast amount of current information for the world on this nation of great potential.
UNESCO shows a gratifying rise in the literacy rate for young people, though discrimination against females continues in this respect. Algeria is an important energy producer for the world, and it has much to offer by way of culture, history, and tourist potential as well. A free and professional media environment will go a long way in breaking the shackles of dogma and poverty, and enable the people of Algeria realize their full potentials.