Mass media in Algeria: a historical account
- Several problems face the researchers in this domain
• Lack of documents.
• Absence of archives & materials.
According to a researcher “the first difficulty that we encountered in our research was the documents and the newspapers collections. The complaints about this problem by the interested researchers are unanimous. The newspaper collections are dispersed, incomplete or do not exist at all, most of the time there are no archives, and if we discover them in official libraries – and also sometimes with some families, scientists, professionals, men of politics- they are not indexed”.
- History of journalism and mass media in Algeria goes back to 1830 (French colonization). o They introduced press to communicate with the metropolis. o To inform the settlers.
o To diffuse their ideology among the Algerians.
- Early communication in Algeria was primitive & traditional.
• Face to face
Made by imams.
• Religious sermons
tribe chiefs, teachers, merchants…… • Ceremonies.
[In mosques, market place, coffee house.]
- Three main forces in Algeria.
o French government in France.
o The settlers in Algeria.
o The indigenous population.
- The 3 categories led to the immergence of 5 types of press from 1830-1862.
The government press.
The colonial press
The indigenophile press
The indigenous press
The nationalist press
1- The government press:
- French government spokesman
- Addressed French soldiers, settlers, Algerian indigenes. - Transmit government decisions, policies law and regulations. 2- the colonial press
addressed to the French settlers, the French civilians in Algeria and the public opinion in the metropolis. -
It ignored the “indigenes” population.
It down played the religious, cultural, history and patrimony of the Algerians. -
It glorified the positive impact of colonization.
3- The Indigenophile Press: made by French people.
It was a mere forum for minor indigenous problems. -
It was not nationalist.
4- The indigenous press: used Arabic and French
made by some indigenous population
It’s aim was to mediate between French government and the Algerian masses. -
It tried to respect the French existence
It tried to express the needs for equality and justice of the indigenous population. 5- The nationalist press:
Appeared by the appearance of the Algerian nationalist movement to serve as a forum for the -
Muslim reformists “ Abdulhamid Ibnbadis”.
Anticolonial nationalists “Messali Hadj”
Liberal assimilationalists “ Ferhat Abbas”
This press challenged the settlers.
It operated under difficult conditions.
It faced shut downs, oppression of journalist (jail, exile…)
Important periods of Algerian journalism
1- from the conquest to first w.w : 1830-1914
“L’Estafette d’Alger” 1st newspaper in Algeria June 14th 1830 Published by French government disappeared after 2 issues. - This period was dominated by government press, colonial press, indigenophile press and at the end the appearance of the Indigenous press. - Nationalist movements was nonexistent, so there was no nationalist press - Press used French and Arabic (mainly dialectical Arabic) to reach the local population. - Very low circulation 1000-2000.
- Once a week (publication).
- Very high rate of illiteracy.
Most important newspapers: l’Akhbar, l’Echo d’Oran, l’Atlas, la France Algerienne, le courrier de Bone, le Journal de Constantine, l’Algerie and in 1847 Al Mubachir-1st Arabic newspaper and 3rd in Arab world. - Censorship was abolished in France in 1830 but not in Algeria. - 1848 French government established freedom of press...
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