Algerian newspapers’ mottos

Algerian writer and current minister of communication, Hamid Grine, finally joined Twitter a few weeks ago. His first tweets announced the death of 86 yo Boualem Bessaih who had just been appointed personal representative of 79 yo Bouteflika. Bassaih was also a writer (I liked his “De l’émir Abdelkader à l’imam Chamyl” book) and a former minister of communication (1980 to 1984) hence Grine’s mention.
And exactly like most, not to say all, Algerian politicians (the few who use Twitter), Grine’s twitter account is not very active with so far only 23 tweets and following 21 twitter accounts. These accounts show that his world is restricted to Algeria (not all of it) and France.

dz_newspapersBut this low activity makes it easy to go through his tweets and this is how I found the one where he stated that only 21 Algerian daily newspapers had circulations of more than 10,000 copies per day.

The Algerian regime likes to boast  Continue reading


El Watan newspaper, how serious is it?

In yesterday’s edition of El Watan, you can read an article titled “the shocking words of Bouguerra Soltani on Facebook“. In this article, the journalist reports some sentences allegedly written by the president of the MSP on his alleged Facebook page. The sentences written almost two months ago (on January 10) raise a question about the Algerian people and whether it is possible to rely on them or not. The unwritten but obvious author’s answer is apparently NO. I’ll post below Al Watan’s article in French, and the original text in Arabic from Facebook.

El Watan is probably one of the most serious newspapers in Algeria. It’s one of the three  francophone newspapers which I read, the other two being Le Quotidien d’Oran and Liberte. But this newspaper has changed some 5 to 6 years ago and its editorial line became more… radical. Its opposition to the system became systemic and it lost sight of the objectivity that used to characterize it. I of course have no problem with this esp. that I know this newspaper has to compete with not only the state-owned newspapers but also the mediocre pro-system francophone and arabophone newspapers (L’expression, Echourouk, Ennahar, etc.) Continue reading

Algerian revolution: who is lying and who is telling the truth?

I mentioned in a previous post how the Algerian regime managed to create a perfect history around the Algerian revolution as a whole and for many of the freedom fighters and martyrs as individuals. It is for example amazing that we have two historical versions on Ali Tounsi who was a great moudjahid in one and the worst harki in the other.
Today we are witnessing a different phenomenon with many men criticizing some of the Algerian revolution’s figures. It has been an ongoing trend for some time now but Said Saadi‘s recent book triggered a new storm which, I think, won’t stop any soon.

I haven’t read Saadi’s book, but what I gathered from the Algerian newspapers is that he “used” some archive materials he got from France to prove that colonel Amirouche (and Si Lhaoues, but he doesn’t really care as he was not Kabyle) was killed by the French with the help (or instigation) of both Boussouf and Boumediene. He also, again according to the newspapers, wrote that Krim Belkacem was not involved in the murder of Abane. A Kabyle cannot kill another Kabyle, duh!

Saadi chose to publish his book while Kabylia commemorates the 30th anniversary of the Berber spring, and apparently aimed with his book at gaining (or regaining) some support among the Kabyles. He could as always count on Noureddine Ait-Hamouda as his moral caution. In their fight, the RCD, the FFS, the 3rouche and the MAK don’t hesitate to use any tool to get an advantage over the others, even though the FFS tries to show itself as a national party and not a regional one.

And many people now are retaliating and a snowball effect is ongoing.

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Does information management exist in Algeria?

In his new book, Michael Mewshaw included an interview of Thomas Daughton, the former Deputy Chief of Mission in the American embassy in Algiers. I haven’t read the book yet but, according to Echourouk, it seems that the diplomat lost his… diplomatic manners during this interview. He apparently openly criticised the Algerian state and people, and made sure he didn’t spare anyone. One of his comments, again according to Echourouk, was about the Algerian regime mindset which is still stagnating at the Soviets’ system model level.

I don’t know about this comparison, but the way the Algerian regime manages information looks outdated. I actually question the “management” and “information” association when we talk about Algeria. I am not even sure “information control” would fit. I in fact fail to see any coherence in the different strategies, if any, the Algerian rulers follow for this or that cases. It’s like they act according to what we call in Algerian “ennefha”, without any directing line. And it seems sometimes that they are stuck in the 70s or early 80s when we had a single ruling party and a single source of information (disinformation).

I’ll try to illustrate this through some examples, and if someone understands the logic or detects a strategy then please let me know.

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