Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali pledged on Wednesday to guarantee press freedom and resolve the heightened tensions between his government and the media, one of his advisers said.
During a meeting with the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in Brussels, "Jebali promised to settle all the problems in this field, including by implementing decrees 115 and 116 and providing guarantees to ensure press freedom and to eliminate fears on this subject," Lotfi Zitoun said.
The government decrees mentioned, which date back to 2011, were supposed to guarantee the independence of the media and provide the basis for a framework to regulate new audiovisual media, after the revolution that toppled former strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
But they have yet to be implemented.
IFJ president Jim Boumelha said he had informed Jebali, who belongs to the ruling Islamist party Ennahda, of his "concern at the media situation in Tunisia."
Journalists and editors have accused the Islamist-led government of seeking to control the editorial content of several public media groups, including by appointing new directors without consulting their staff.
The most high-profile case involves the Dar Essabah press group, which owns the newspapers Essabah and French-language Le Temps and which the Tunisian state took control of after the revolution.
Editorial staff have been up in arms over the appointment in August of Lotfi Touati as its new director, considering him too close to Islamists.
Four journalists have been on hunger strike since Monday demanding his resignation.