CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Tom Rhodes

Tom Rhodes is CPJ's East Africa representative, based in Nairobi. Rhodes is a founder of southern Sudan’s first independent newspaper. Follow him on Twitter: @africamedia_CPJ

Blog   |   Nigeria

Journalist killed on a Sunday morning at home in Nigeria

Mourners at Bayo Ohu's funeral. (The Vanguard)

More than two weeks have passed since the cold-blooded killing of Bayo Ohu, assistant news editor and political reporter for the Lagos, Nigeria-based The Guardian. The 45-year-old, soft-spoken workaholic opened the door to his home early on Sunday, September 20, as he prepared for church. According to eyewitnesses and local reports, five gunmen and one female ringleader shot Ohu repeatedly in his doorway while his children hid inside. One of his children told The Guardian that from her hiding place she heard one of the men shouting in Yoruba, “Olori Buruki e ti ku”—“The fool is dead.” Curiously, the killers took only Ohu’s laptop and cell phones.

October 6, 2009 5:46 PM ET

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Blog   |   Rwanda

Rwandan minister: ‘It’s OK to be anti-government’

CPJ sat down recently with the Rwandan minister of information, Louise Mushikiwabo, who spoke of several media developments, including a new press law. “I am convinced the new legislation will help professionalize our media—there were many holes in the former law,” she told CPJ. Some, however, do not share her enthusiasm. 

September 10, 2009 12:41 PM ET

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Blog   |   Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe's glimmer of hope for press freedom

Some Zimbabwean journalists say 2003 was the most repressive year for independent journalists. Others claim it was 2008. But no one is yet claiming it was 2009 after a recent series of positive developments for the country's media.

August 5, 2009 6:17 PM ET

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Blog   |   Namibia

In Namibia seal hunt, journalists said to become prey

July marks the start of seal hunting season in Namibia, where hunters will be allowed to kill more than 90,000 seals. British journalist Jim Wickens and South African cameraman Bart Smithers filmed the event near Cape Cross Colony on Thursday morning for a British advocacy organization, Ecostorm. That is, until the journalists became the hunted.

July 17, 2009 4:56 PM ET

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Blog   |   Somalia

Somali journalists leave profession in fear as another dies

The funeral of Mukhtar Mohamed Hirabe. (NUSOJ)Somali journalists held an emotional press conference in Mogadishu today at the Sahafi Hotel after Sunday's fatal shooting of the former director of Shabelle Media Network. (Sahafi means "journalist" in Arabic.) Roughly 15 journalists from different news outlets announced they were suspending their work because of security concerns. "We can no longer operate independently and impartially, and our lives are in danger because of the chaotic situation in our country," said a statement signed by the journalists, who were mainly editors and producers at local radio and TV stations.

June 9, 2009 2:38 PM ET

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Blog   |   Gambia

Six senators call for Ebrima Manneh's immediate release

(GPU)

Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) leads a group of six senators to call for the immediate release of the former state Daily Observer newspaper, "Chief" Ebrima Manneh today. Colleagues at the newspaper say they witnessed two plainclothes Gambian National Intelligence Agency officers whisk Manneh, right, away in July 2006. He has not been seen since despite repeated calls to the government to disclose his whereabouts. 

April 23, 2009 10:08 AM ET

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Blog   |   Kenya

Mission Journal: Mysterious raid draws new concerns

On March 2, 2006, Kenyan state agents conducted a commando-style midnight raid on the Standard Group, owner of an independent daily and KTN Television in the capital, Nairobi. The agents seized computers and tapes, vandalized a printing press, and burned roughly 20,000 copies of The Standard, Chief Executive Officer Tom Mshindi told me recently in Nairobi. On each anniversary since, the Standard Group calls for inquiries into the raid. Paul Muite, a former member of parliament from Kabete and a vocal critic of President Mwai Kibaki, made a public statement at the Standard Group's office on this year's anniversary--and believes that, as a result, he is now being followed

April 22, 2009 11:43 AM ET

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Blog   |   Burundi

Former CPJ award winner acquitted in Burundi

(Jean Pierre Harerimana)The staff at CPJ was relieved to hear that former CPJ Press Freedom Award winner Alexis Sinduhije was released from prison today. The former radio station director and veteran Burundian journalist was acquitted by a Bujumbura court after serving four months of a two and a half year jail sentence for "insulting the president." A three-judge panel acquitted Sindhujie on Wednesday after ruling that the charges against him were unsubstantiated. 
March 12, 2009 1:59 PM ET

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Blog   |   Somalia

Remembering Said Tahlil

GaroweFalastiin Iman, a former producer for the independent Somali broadcaster HornAfrik, was talking by phone on Sunday with the station's director, Said Tahlil, left. He was upbeat, she said, a mood that is not easy to come by in Mogadishu. "He was so happy that peace was finally coming to Somalia and that, miraculously, HornAfrik TV and Radio was still able to operate and report throughout all the crises." 
February 5, 2009 2:29 PM ET

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Blog   |   Zimbabwe

How diamond rings silence Zimbabwe's foreign press

The Hong Kong police announced on Monday they would investigate the alleged assault on photographer Richard Jones by Zimbabwe's first lady, Grace Mugabe, while she was on vacation. On January 15, Jones claimed Mugabe ordered her bodyguard to hold the photographer down while she punched him repeatedly in the face near Hong Kong's exclusive Shangri-la Hotel, according to wire reports. 

January 21, 2009 5:38 PM ET

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2009

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