This study examines the burgeoning of a new ‘independent’ press that has emerged in the last decade in Morocco, heralding the decline of the traditional partisan press. An analysis of two partisan newspapers reveals that the partisan press has failed to promote press freedom and frequently engages in self-censorship when confronting ‘red line’ issues in Moroccan politics. In contrast, the enterprising independent press has sought to broaden the margin of freedom through insisting on broaching those sensitive issues. As such, it has had great ramifications and implications at the level of readership and for the political reform debate raging in the country. Paradoxically, however, while attacking the old school of journalism for its partisanship, the new independent press has carved out a new form of ‘partisanship’, functioning as a conduit for an oppositional political discourse. The article reviews the debate surrounding those ‘red lines’ and discusses the prospects of reforming the press codes as one way of ensuring the survival of this independent streak of journalism.
Keywords: self-censorship, press freedom, partisan press
How to Cite:
Douai, A., (2017) “In Democracy’s Shadow: The ‘New’ Independent Press and the Limits of Media Reform in Morocco”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 6(1), p.4-26. doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.119