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Volume 3, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN: 1751-9411
  • E-ISSN: 1751-942X


Until 2006, Morocco had only two radio and two television stations catering for a population of 30 million people. Like in most Arab countries, such stations traditionally fell under the administrative, financial and editorial authority of the State, something that contrasts with the status of the printed press, which remained, globally speaking, private and partisan.Over the last year, Morocco's broadcast media landscape has witnessed the emergence of more media outlets. New radio and television stations were created, all of which were private. Because of this, the public monopoly was abolished and public authorities (the King, Parliament and the Government) again adopted a code that would regulate the broadcasting media functioning. As such, Morocco seems to be revisiting its past. Before gaining independence, when it first launched its media, Morocco possessed as many public as private stations.However, newly launched private television stations, although constituting the first initiative in the Maghreb, are only broadcast by satellite, and their programmes are limited in time. New radio stations are all local and with basic programming. They are restricted to music and entertainment. The administrative regulating authority, Haute Autorit de la Communication Audiovisuelle, however, has not granted licenses for all projects. But no project has been proposed that would cover a wider scope of programming with country-wide coverage through regular antenna for radio or television. Broadcast media require heavy investment, as the infrastructure for the production and broadcast services is costly. In Morocco, this tends to deter broadcasting operators, especially when returns are not immediate and when the leeway for free expression is fluctuating or undermined.To compensate for the weakness of the private sector and to meet the challenge of the 485 Arabic satellite chains received by the Moroccan public, the State has created a fund aimed at stimulating broadcasting, by relieving money pressures from the shoulders of Moroccan producers and broadcasting outlets; yet this also calls into question the degree of their independence. The path to such independence has indeed proved to be fraught with obstacles during coverage of some events, such as the Casablanca terrorist attacks in 2006, when the new radio and television stations restricted themselves to the mere transmission of official news updates.


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