Africa

2010

Blog   |   Ivory Coast

In Ivory Coast, old struggles give way to new challenges

The author, far left, interviewing Brazilian soccer players in 1975. (Courtesy Eugène Dié Kacou) Independence came when I was attending school at the orientation college in Abidjan-Plateau, and when I was still sneaking to listen to the news on my father’s Grundig radio set. Today, I believe that genuine freedom of the press exists in our African countries. In Ivory Coast, for example, the new press law abolished prison sentence for press offenses. 

July 30, 2010 10:00 AM ET

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Blog   |   Ivory Coast

No Wikileaks, but cocoa piece typifies fight over leaks

Protesters seek release of three Ivorian editors jailed in a leaked document case. (AFP/Sia Kambou)

WikiLeaks’ publication of tens of thousands of pages of confidential U.S. military documents on the Afghanistan war has drawn a lot of attention, perhaps overshadowing the many, more common cases around the world in which journalists publish stories based on leaked documents. This week, for instance, three journalists in Ivory Coast were found guilty of disclosing confidential judicial information after they published a story that shook the political establishment in this West African nation.

Alerts   |   Democratic Republic of the Congo

Congolese journalist under arrest; stations forced off air

New York, July 28, 2010—Authorities arrested a journalist on Tuesday on criminal defamation charges in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Hours earlier, in an unrelated incident, armed men briefly forced the city’s three main opposition broadcasters off the air, according to local journalists and news reports.

Alerts   |   Ivory Coast

Judge issues fine, suspension in leaked document case

The three defendants handcuffed in court prior to their release. (AFP/Issouf Sanogo)

New York, July 27, 2010—An Ivorian judge on Monday ordered the release of three journalists who had been jailed for a story citing a leaked official document, but he imposed a fine and suspension on their newspaper, according to local journalists and news reports

Blog   |   Uganda

From 9/11 to 7/11, balancing security, liberty

Museveni at the African Union summit. (AP/Stephen Wandera)

Ugandan President Museveni urged his peers at this week's African Union summit to unite in the battle against terrorism in the aftermath of the terrible 7/11 bombings in Kampala. Security measures pursued by Ugandan authorities after the twin bombings, however, have left some Ugandans and other East African residents wary. East African journalists were among those detained by Ugandan security forces following the bombing. Uganda’s parliament, meanwhile, quickly passed a telephone surveillance bill.

July 27, 2010 1:00 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Swaziland

Swazi prince threatens journalists who ‘write bad things'

New York, July 26, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns death threats and outrageous claims made last week by a member of Swaziland’s royal family against local journalists over their critical coverage of the country's leadership.

July 26, 2010 4:29 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Ghana

Ghana police criminally prosecute journalist over sources

New York, July 23, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Ghana’s attorney general to drop prosecution of prominent journalist Ato Kwamena Dadzie under the 1960 criminal code in an attempt to get him to reveal his sources.

July 23, 2010 5:55 PM ET

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Blog   |   Togo

Togo’s press suffers malaise 50 years after independence

The author in the studios of TVT in 1976. (TVT)

In the year marking the 50th anniversary of Togo’s independence, the Togolese press is suffering from an obvious malaise—a malaise perceived by the informed citizen and not by communications professionals themselves. This malaise transpires in the daily practice of journalism through the lack of professionalism. If elsewhere the media is stifled under the heel of power, in Togo, the state, in its “complicit neutrality,” watches the press drift below minimum journalistic ethics where the crosschecking of information before its dissemination is wanting. 

July 23, 2010 2:47 PM ET

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Blog   |   Gambia

On Gambia’s Freedom Day, CPJ joins call for human rights

Thursday was Freedom Day in the Gambia, an annual holiday unique to the West African nation marking President Yahyah Jammeh’s seizure of power in a 1994 coup. As the president used the occasion to declare a crusade against drugs and corruption, his rhetoric was undercut by the repression of the independent press under his administration.
July 23, 2010 2:24 PM ET

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Blog   |   Burkina Faso

A springtime for Burkina Faso’s press

The author, at left, is holding the mike for Upper Volta President Maurice Yaméogo in 1963. (Courtesy Roger Nikièma)

I will continue to relive for a long time August 5, 1960, the day Upper Volta, as Burkina Faso was then known, proclaimed independence from France! As a presenter of the newly founded national radio network, I was on the air, which was open to listeners all night. Some listeners, with tears of joy on their faces would enter the studio singing or reciting epic poems! As much as I loved the radio days of my debut in journalism, I have mixed feelings about the first decades following Independence.

July 21, 2010 5:28 PM ET

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2010

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