In Algeria, the main TV channels belong to oligarchs close to Bouteflika Search Top Navigation Articles Briefs

Faced with the popular uprising, some of them have changed camps, covering the dispute.

Between two slogans chanted against President Bouteflika, their names are regularly hooked by the crowd during demonstrations which have brought together, every Friday for a month, hundreds of thousands of Algerians throughout the country.These attacks, who target a handful of businessmen who have built their fortune on their proximity to the regime, will however not be broadcast on private television channels.And for good reason: most are held by these same billionaires.

One of the most media, Ali Haddad, is the president of the business leaders, the employers' organization known to finance the electoral campaigns of Abdelaziz Bouteflika.The oligarch is the owner of the daily newspapers for Algeria and Wakt el-Djazaïr, but also of Dzaïr TV and Dzaïr News.

These two channels were created to relay the president's campaign in 2014, and are today favorable to its maintenance in power.At the head of the first Algerian construction group, M.Haddad "is very close to Saïd Bouteflika, the brother of the Head of State, and benefited from the largest national public works markets, without call for tenders," explains Belkacem Mostefaoui, professor at the National School of JournalismAlgiers.

The news channel Ennahar TV, regularly at the top of the audiences, is also found in the crosshairs of the demonstrators, who accuse him of being the stalement antenna of the presidential clan.Its owner and director, Anis Rahmani, "supported the opposition to Bouteflika in the 2004 elections, before becoming, overnight, a fervent supporter when he was re -elected," recalls Lotfi Ramdani, the director of theSpecialized Medias-DZ.

En Algérie, les principales chaînes de télé appartiennent à des oligarques proches de Bouteflika Rechercher Top Articles Navigation Brèves

A "allegiance" that the former journalist recently reaffirmed at the start of the protest."His channel displays a semblance of opposition by criticizing small actors of power, but never targets the army or the president himself," notes a journalist from a public radio, for whom this partiality is "sometimes more blatantthan on public service ”, yet locked by the government.

Several other cases illustrate this stranglehold on private television.Mahieddine Tahkout, boss of a monopoly in the transport of students and an automotive assembly group, bought the Numidia News channel in 2015.Discreet, the businessman is close to former Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, member of the president's close guard until his dismissal on March 11.Still in 2015, the El Djazaïria One chain fell into the fold of the Aissiou and Ould Zemirli brothers, real estate and agrifood, who also have the favors of the regime.

In a report published at the end of 2016, the Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) organization worried about "the birth of a media oligarchy in the service of occult economic and political interests".And recalled that these investors were not all from the president's circles.In open conflict with the Bouteflika clan for several years, Issad Rebrab, the first fortune in Algeria, is the owner of the daily Liberté.

The CEO of the agricultural company Cevital also tried to buy, in 2016, the media group El Khabar, bringing together the daily life of the same name and the KBC channel, before justice opposes it under the anti -concentration law.A "two -measure strategy", according to RSF, which emphasizes that Ali Haddad has been authorized to absorb several media.

Editorial turnaround

For these commercial channels, the links maintained by their owner with the authorities also represent security.Because since the liberalization of audiovisual, started in 2012, "they must obtain a license which can be removed from them if they do not respect the specifications of the Ministry of Communication", underlines Fatima Essawi, researcher at the London Schoolof Economics (LSE) and author of a report on the Algerian media.These guidelines in particular prohibit "any offense, outrageous, insulting or defamatory speech against the President of the Republic". « L’Etat a donné ces agréments aux quelques chaînes qui représentent les sensibilités du régime », estime Mme El Issawi.

For some of them, however, the wind seems to turn, while the presidential clan appears every day a little more weakened.“Private televisions close to power currently operate by speaking openly about popular revolt.They leave the ship because they see the end of a system coming, "analyzes Belkacem Mostefaoui, adding that their owners" will bounce back to exercise their influence in another way ".

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