Africa

2010

Alerts   |   Somalia

Somaliland obstructs UK satellite station

New York, October 7, 2010--Authorities in Somaliland should immediately lift a suspension order imposed against the UK-based satellite broadcaster Universal TV, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. The order bars the station's correspondents from reporting in the breakaway republic in northern Somalia, Khadar Mahamed, Universal TV senior newscaster and producer, told CPJ.

October 8, 2010 4:38 PM ET

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Blog   |   Nigeria

Abuja Twitterers chronicle #Nigeriaat50 bomb explosions

Nigerian police officer stands at scen of an exploded car bomb at Eagle Square in Abuja. (AP)

A few minutes before deadly explosions ripped through Nigeria's 50th Independence Day celebration in Abuja on Saturday, Twitter user Achonu Stanley wondered about darkening skies over the festivities: "Would the day be marred by rain? It has become cloudy and dark. Sorry for the thousands of people at Eagle Square."

October 5, 2010 4:57 PM ET

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Blog   |   Uganda

Ugandan station still closed, an ill omen for election

Former CBS journalists Ndiwalana Kiwanuka, left, Richard Wasswa and Joesph Kafumbe. (CPJ)

More than a year has passed since the government-influenced Broadcasting Council summarily closed the popular Central Broadcasting Service, or CBS. The council closed the station in September 2009 as riots were erupting in response to the government's decision to block the traditional Buganda king from attending a youth celebration north of the capital, Kampala. Its continued closure bodes ill for independent news coverage of February's presidential election.

Blog   |   Gambia, Security, USA

Jammeh 'award' coverage reflects chill in Gambian press

Jammeh may be a Nebraska "admiral," but he was not commended by Obama. (Reuters)

"President Jammeh bags 4 awards," trumpeted a September 17 headline of the Daily Observer, a pro-government newspaper in the Gambia, a West African nation whose idyllic façade as "the smiling coast of Africa" is maintained in part by President Yahyah Jammeh's brutal repression of the independent press. 

September 24, 2010 3:26 PM ET

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Blog   |   Nigeria, South Africa

With media plan, ANC copies Nigeria's military rulers

Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, left, South Africa's Jacob Zuma, and Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan at this summer's African Union Summit in Kampala. (AFP/Marc Hofer)

While South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC) discusses the party's proposal for a media appeals tribunal, delegates should take note of a landmark ruling in Nigeria this year in which a High Court judge declared a government-dominated press council unconstitutional. 

September 24, 2010 10:21 AM ET

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Blog   |   Ethiopia, USA

As Zenawi speaks, editors are grilled in Ethiopia

Choice is important, Zenawi says. But editors back home are not always free to make their own choices.

On Wednesday, just a few hours before Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi delivered the keynote address at the World Leaders' Forum at New York's Columbia University, two journalists back in Addis Ababa endured nearly seven hours of police interrogation. 

September 23, 2010 4:44 PM ET

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Blog   |   Somalia, South Africa

Somali journalist lives under threat, in fear in South Africa

Dasar (Clifford Derrick)

Violence has cut through the life of 28-year-old journalist Abdulahi Ibrahim Dasar, from his high school days in Kismayo, the third-largest city in Somalia, to his life as a refugee in South Africa. The turbulence of Dasar's life also explains his entry into journalism, a profession that has made him a target of assassination by hard-line Somali militants. 

Back in 2001 in Kismayo, Dasar had ambitious plans to become an entrepreneur, but bloodshed from local clan warfare forced his family to seek refuge in South Africa. In the peaceful suburbs of Cape Town, the familiar sound of bullets was gone at last. Very little knowledge of English and difficulty clicking the South African isiXhosa language spoken by the people of the Western Cape did not stop him from venturing into small-scale kiosk work selling groceries.

September 22, 2010 10:10 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Uganda

Second journalist killed in three days in Uganda

New Vision

New York, September 15, 2010--Unidentified assailants beat and killed news presenter Dickson Ssentongo Monday morning on his way to work at Prime Radio in Mukono district, central Uganda. Assailants beat Ssentongo with metal bars and dragged him into a nearby cassava field, local journalists told CPJ. He was the second journalist murdered in three days in Uganda.

September 15, 2010 5:28 PM ET

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Blog   |   Botswana, South Africa

Why South Africa's media fight matters to Botswana

President Khama has not been a friend to the media. (Reuters)

For Batswana journalists, news that their South African colleagues are busy warding off a proposed statutory media tribunal from the ruling African National Congress sounds all too familiar. For more than a decade, the government of Botswana has been trying to push a media law that would effectively shift the whole media under state control.

This was eventually achieved as in December 2008, the Media Practitioners Act came to being after being pushed through parliament by the dominant ruling Botswana Democratic party. The implementation of the act has however been frustrated by fierce advocacy by Botswana media groups, with the key assistance of the Law Society of Botswana, which also refused to participate in the implementation as required.

September 15, 2010 11:08 AM ET

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Blog   |   Kenya, Somalia

'A Somali journalist's life is short anyways'

A journalist films an insurgent in Somalia. (Mohammed Ibrahim)

In August, Shabelle Media Network, one of Somalia's leading independent broadcasters, did something incredibly brave--they rebroadcast news and music that the BBC's Somali-language service beams to the war-torn Horn of African nation in defiance of a ban imposed by hard-line militant Islamist rebel groups Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam. For Somali journalists, who risk death by crossfire and assassination, and censorship from both insurgents and the weak U.S.-backed transitional government, it was a courageous pushback against forces hostile to independent media.

2010

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