CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Mohamed Keita

Mohamed Keita is advocacy coordinator for CPJ's Africa Program. Keita has written about independent journalism and development in sub-Saharan Africa for publications including The New York Times and Africa Review, and has appeared on NPR, the BBC, Al-Jazeera, and Radio France Internationale. Keita has also given presentations on press freedom at the World Bank, U.S. State Department, and universities. Follow him on Twitter: @africamedia_CPJ.

Blog   |   Burkina Faso

In Norbert Zongo case, 12 years of impunity

A poster for this week's commemoration.

For Geneviève Zongo, every December 13 revives excruciating memories of the loss of her husband Norbert Zongo, editor of the weekly L'Indépendant. He was assassinated in 1998 while investigating the murder of a driver working at Burkina Faso's presidential palace. More painful still is that the killers who ambushed Zongo's car, riddling it with bullets and torching it, have never been brought to justice.

December 14, 2010 4:15 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   |   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   |   Mozambique

New media tools bring Mozambican crisis to the world

Police patrol the streets of the capital, Maputo. (Reuters/Grant Lee Neuenburg)

This week's deadly unrest in Mozambique became a global news story in part because reporters and citizen journalists used new media and social networking tools. Clashes between security forces and people protesting rising prices in the capital, Maputo, left at least seven people dead and more than 200 people injured, according to the latest news reports

September 3, 2010 3:06 PM ET

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Blog   |   Uganda

Ugandan media celebrates, fights on after sedition ruling

Journalists at the Monitor cheer the court's ruling to strike down sedition. (Monitor)
With surprise and relief, Ugandan journalists, who routinely face the police's "media crimes" unit, welcomed a partial victory for press freedom on Wednesday. The country's constitutional court had ruled that criminal sedition was unconstitutional. Even so, there was a consensus that more legal press battles lie ahead.  

Blog   |   Togo

French officer proves 'allergic' to photos in Togo

 Didier Ledoux snapped this photo minutes before Lt. Colonel Romuald Létondot, seen here, confronted him. (Courtesy Didier Ledoux)
It has been a week since Togolese photojournalist Komi Agbedivlo, better known as "Didier Ledoux," was verbally abused by a military officer from France as he covered a political demonstration in the capital, Lome. The incident might have gone unnoticed, if not for social media and a year charged with historical symbolism for Togo, which is celebrating 50 years of independence from France. So the day, far from going unnoticed, has lived on through the Internet.
August 17, 2010 3:47 PM ET

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Blog   |   Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Republic of Congo, USA

Obama tells Africa forum 'no reason' for press restriction

Obama's Young African Leaders Forum in Washington touched on press freedom. (America.gov)
One out of 10 delegates participating this week in U.S. President Barack Obama's Young African Leaders Forum was a journalist. The forum, a U.S. initiative meant to spark discussions on the future of Africa in a year when 17 countries on the continent are celebrating 50 years of nationhood, did not overlook freedom of the press, as I witnessed in its final event on Thursday at Washington's museum of news, the Newseum.
August 6, 2010 4:22 PM ET

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Blog   |   Eritrea, Sweden

Eritrean official says jailed journalists were security threat

Senior Eritrean Advisor Yemani Gebreab told Swedish daily Aftonbladet that the government had decided to “move forward,” leaving imprisoned journalists in the eternal oblivion of indefinite detention.
Since a week after September 11, 2001, when the government of Eritrea threw into secret prisons journalists from its once-vibrant private press, the only certainty it has offered about the fate of the prisoners has been ambiguity. Over the years, officials have offered various explanations for the arrests—from nebulous anti-state conspiracies involving foreign intelligence to press law violations. They have even denied that the journalists themselves ever existed. From the Eritrean president to the public relations officer with the Eritrean Ministry of Information, Eritrean officials have been consistent in their refusal to disclose whether the journalists are alive or dead and their suggestion that the journalists will be held indefinitely without formal charge or trial.
August 6, 2010 12:31 PM 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.

Blog   |   Guinea

In Guinea, media hopeful with democratic transition

Transitional leader Sekouba Konaté casts his vote in June's historic elections in Guinea. (Reuters)Guinea’s historic presidential elections and new constitution are changing the media landscape in the West African country. Since last month, the military-led Transitional National Council has passed two new laws decriminalizing defamation and created a new media regulatory body.

2010

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