UPDATE 0830 GMT: Mona Eltahawy, one of the most prominent activists on Twitter, has filmed a report for Time magazine on Tunisia, Youth, and Social Media:
Now that President Ben Ali has been toppled in Tunisia, international media are putting reporters into Tunis and interpreting what has and what will happen.
With some US observers putting forth the threat of "Islamists" taking over the country, David Kirkpatrick of The New York Times talks to Ali Larayedh, who was imprisoned for 14 years for his leading role in the banned (and un-banned since yesterday) al-Nahda party.
Larayedh explains to Kirkpatrick that al-Nahda's leadership have “enlarge[d] our views to encompass Western values". He continues, “We are Muslim, but we are not against modernism....We are not going to exclude women like some other extremists.”
The concern in Kirkpatrick's article is that al-Nahda might be hostile to the US. He quotes Larayedh, "“We are still against the political agenda of American interference in Arabic countries. America is still supporting some dictatorships in Arabian countries, for example Ben Ali.” And later in the article: "[This] is why people all over the Arab world hate the American administration. And we are against any foreign troops in Arabic countries, not just American troops; it seems like we are not independent countries.”
The Washington Post prefers to speak with youth in its feature this morning, with Sudarsan Raghavan hearing their recollections of the Ben Ali regime: ""We were not living. We were like his puppets. If we spoke the truth, we would be punished." Another adds, "We grew up hating the government. Our government made us into a lost generation."
The group then talk about the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, the catalyst for the uprising, the spread of the word through social media --- ""Facebook was the means of our revolution" --- and participation in the demonstrations that helped overthrow Ben Ali.
"For the first time in my life, I felt free," says one man. Yet none of those speaking to Raghavan will give a last name, for fear of retribution by militia who may still be loyal to the former regime.
The Los Angeles Times goes for "Tunisian Media Relish New Freedom". But if you want something very different on Tunisia and media, turn to The Huffington Post, in which Marc Ginsberg, the former Ambassador to Morocco, pins the Tunisian events on this dangerous culprit:
Al Jazeera has proven worthy in Gaza, in Lebanon, in Iraq and in Iran of its reputation as a fiery instigator of public opinion and less an impartial reporter of it.
Let's hope that Al Jazeera's penchant for regional anarchy is tempered by cooler heads within Arab democratic dissident ranks who have far more to lose than audience share if they take prematurely swallow Al Jazeera's bait.