After the revolution: Tunisian journalism students and a news media in transition

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U.S. Department of State

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Research Article

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A decade after the Jasmine Revolution ushered in the Arab Spring, Tunisia remains a bright spot for democratic reform and press freedom in the Middle East and North Africa. However, this transition is still tentative, and the reforms remain fragile. This study examines Tunisian journalism students (N = 193) to understand their motivations for earning a degree in the field and how they conceptualize journalism’s role in society. By studying Tunisian journalism students’ motivations for entering this transforming field, and how those students perceive their pre-professional roles, we may gain a glimpse into how they are internalizing the lessons of the revolution. The results of this survey showed that students emphasized social responsibility motivations for studying journalism. Participants most strongly valued the role of journalists in promoting tolerance and cultural diversity, educating the audience, letting people express their views, reporting things as they are, and supporting national development. These results suggest that Tunisian students view their work as assuming monitorial and interventionist roles.

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