Tunis/Tunisia — The Soumoud coalition decried attempts to instrumentalise and subjugate Tunis Afrique Press (TAP) public news agency and Shems FM radio.
Both institutions have shown neutrality and commitment to keep an equal distance from all political segments, the coalition said in a statement on Monday, criticising the appointment of officials close to ruling parties on head of media institutions.
The coalition denounces the pressure exerted on the two media institutions' journalists in a bid to have full control of their editorial line, warning against the "serious abuses" threatening the foundations of democratic transition.
The coalition affirms full support to the two institutions' journalists and staff in their move to defend the sector's independence.
The media scene is currently witnessing a dismal situation characterised by a stranglehold of the ruling parties on the media and the harassment of journalists, the statement points out.
The coalition deplores the attitude of imposing TV show hosts who are close to political circles and their orientations, at the expense of competent and objective journalists, warning against the constraints encountered by journalists in their quest for information, which range from threats to equipment seizure.
In another connection, the coalition reiterated support to the Independent High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (HAICA) against pressures aimed at preventing it from carrying out its regulatory role and from enforcing law on unlicensed TV channels and radio stations supported by ruling parties.
To this end, the coalition called on the civil society and progressive parties to further defend the independence of the media, warning against attempts of the political power to reinforce its control over the media scene, hence halting the democratic transition.