Tunisian Journalists Rebuff New Head of State News Agency

Journalists in Tunisia have rejected the newly appointed head of the Tunis Afrique Press – TAP, citing his lack of independence and relationship with politicians as reasons.

The journalists from the state news agency say the new head had previously clamoured for press control in the past and his appointment now undermines their editorial independence.

Journalists working with the TAP gathered at the headquarters in dozens on Tuesday chanting “TAP is free” and calling for his instant replacement.

The new appointee, Kamel Ben Younes is considered too close to the moderate Islamist Ennahda, a party with the highest number of seats in the parliament. He’s seen as a threat to freedom of the press in the country, having raised his voice for press control before Tunisia’s Arab spring brought back democracy.

The Tunisian government on the other hand has described Ben Younes’ appointment as an administrative move while the man in the mirror denies ever trying to gag the press.

Although state-owned, TAP journalists enjoy editorial independence which sees them writing scathing articles in criticism of the country’s government.

TAP was previously known for patronising the government but has changed its approach in recent time and is afraid Ben Younes’ presence may threaten their freedom.

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