Photo credit: TV5Monde
February 19, 2020
Three stories you need to read today. Compiled and broken down for you by Reporting Morocco student journalists–every day. Brought to you from the School for International Training’s journalism program, Rabat.
Source: Morocco World News
Lede: A Moroccan court sentenced the YouTuber to four years in prison in December 2019 for disrespecting Moroccans, public institutions, and King Mohammed VI.
Key background: The YouTuber appealed the verdict of the First Instance Court in Settat in after a judge handed him a four-year prison sentence on December 26. The court prosecuted Sekkaki for drug possession, attacking constitutional institutions, and as insulting Moroccans. The charges were indicted after the YouTuber posted a 12-minute video, criticizing the Moroccan government and King Mohammed VI.
Why is it Newsworthy? Morocco has been criticized for a crackdown on the freedom of press, specifically targeting social media critics, and arresting and prosecuting them. There was a lot of speculation about Sekkaki’s case, with many Moroccans voicing their support of the YouTuber via social media. Omar Radi, a Moroccan journalist, is currently facing up to a year in prison over a tweet that was critical of a judge. It is unclear whether Radi will face the same consequences, or whether the pressure from international media, the Humans Rights Watch and Moroccan activists will sway the odds in the journalist’s favor.
Source: Bangkok Post
Lede: The fortified old settlement at the foot of the majestic Atlas Mountains enchanted audiences in the HBO series and also served as a dusty backdrop in Ridley Scott’s epic swords-and-sandals film “Gladiator”. But unlike other famous locations from movie and television history, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has so far missed out on a mass influx of tourism -something some of its inhabitants are eager to change.
Nut graf: On Morocco’s Atlantic coast, the city of Essaouira also formed the backdrop to scenes from the series.
But there too, Moroccan tourism promoters are yet to capitalize on the connection.
In comparison, Northern Ireland, Malta and Dubrovnik in Croatia have attracted hordes of fans from around the world, drawn by their links to the franchise.
To remedy this, Baabouz and other young people in the village are pooling their limited resources towards an ambitious project: a museum in the fortress, gathering photography from the productions that have been filmed here.
Why is this Newsworthy? Tourism has become an integral part of Morocco’s economy. Several projects have been initiated alongside the coast of the North African nation in order to increase the number of tourists, including a development of large coastal resorts. It is rare to see rural community organizing driven by tourism, particularly since the nation’s most popular cities. like Marrakech and Fes, seem to be the main destinations for most visitors.
Lede: To cope with the ‘’threat’’ of Morocco, the presidents of Ceuta and Melilla are now betting on the financial support of Spain’s central government. The two cities are calling for an independent economic model like the one adopted in Morocco.
Key information: As expected, the presidents of Ceuta and Melilla met on Monday, February 17 in Malaga, in order to prepare for a joint response to what they call a ‘’strangling’’ of the two cities’ economies by Morocco. Ceuta and Melilla want to benefit from the tourism activities that boost the economy of certain regions in Spain, such as the Balearic Islands and Cadiz.
Why is it Newsworthy? Due to the recent trends of Sub-Saharan migration to Europe, there is an increase in tensions between the two Spanish enclaves and Morocco. The desired change in the economic model of Ceuta and Melilla poses a threat to Morocco’s ‘’mule women’’, female workers that depend on the selling of goods across the border.