afrol News, 24 February - The Arabic language '17 February Revolution' newspaper today was sold in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi as the first independent media in the country. The main headline is "The revolution lives on".
Indeed, the first edition of Libya's first independent newspaper already was out in Benghazi streets yesterday, news of the new media only being spread through social media Twitter today.
The '17 February Revolution' newspaper in its first edition focuses on presenting photos from liberated Benghazi. In picture after picture, city residents are seen celebrating, cleaning up their city, reopening shops and markets, praying or demonstrating solidarity with brothers and sisters in Tripoli and those fallen in the recent fighting.
But the newspaper also does its part of journalism and photo documentation, with pictures showing confiscated arms and mass burials of those killed during the fights.
The newspaper to a great degree gives unique insight in the new life in Benghazi, and how quickly most has returned to normality.
A front page article informs city residents that "banks have opened their doors." While only a few banks had opened so far, more branches would open tomorrow; some even expanding opening hours to help citizens acceding their accounts. However, a dinar 200 (euro 120) limit had been sat for withdrawals, for now.
Another short article announces that schools and universities were to reopen on Sunday, 27 February.
A larger article urges Benghazi resident to keep showing a revolutionary spirit and show solidarity with the l
First edition of the '17 February Revolution' newspaper
Of course, the new newspaper lashes out against the Ghaddafi regime. It tares apart the recent TV speech of the "paranoid" Colonel, saying Mr Ghaddafi "is still trying to raise prejudices" and "create divisions" among Libyans, but concludes divisions will disappear with Mr Ghaddafi.
Benghazi resident are further urged to help providing "security for facilities and institutions," not allowing for divisions between civilians and security forces. Citizens especially should help providing security for banks, as these were taking the risk of opening to assist consumers and businesses in Benghazi. "Respect and engage positively with security forces," people are urged.
Calls for unity and solidarity dominated many of the reports in Benghazi's first independent newspaper, illustrating that the revolution still has to be consolidated in eastern Libya.
But the many articles about Ghaddafi, the regime's disrespect of its own people and the brutal acts by the regime surely serve to unite the Benghazi population against the common enemy; the leader of Libya for the last 42 years.
There previously have existed no independent media in Libya, a country only comparable wit North Korea and Eritrea when it comes to press freedom. All Libyan media have been state-controlled, reporting Soviet-style propaganda.
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