Africa

2010

Alerts   |   Somalia

Somali journalist killed in Mogadishu crossfire

SOMEPED New York, August 24, 2010--Veteran radio journalist Barkhat Awale, at left, was killed by crossfire today in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, according to local journalists and news reports. He is the second journalist killed on duty in Somalia this year, according to CPJ research.
    
Awale, 60, director of the community radio station Hurma Radio, was on the roof of the station assisting a technician in fixing the station's transmitter when a stray bullet hit him in the stomach, local journalists told CPJ. His colleagues rushed him to Madina Hospital, where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
August 24, 2010 4:33 PM ET

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Blog   |   Kenya, South Africa

A lesson for South African media: Look to Kenya

Sammy Mbau (CPJ)

The chorus of voices opposing the South African government's proposed Protection of Information Bill and state-backed ombudsman continue to grow. South Africa's Business Day estimates the press produces three articles per day opposing what many journalists see as an attempt by the ruling party to muzzle investigative reporting. More than 30 editors from major papers published protest messages mid-month calling on the government to abandon the planned legislation. But the South African media has yet to coordinate a mass protest comparable to that successfully orchestrated by Kenyan journalists in 2007 against the country's media bill. And President Jacob Zuma, infamous for issuing defamation suits against a critical South African press, may not back down easily in the face of public criticism. 

August 23, 2010 5:02 PM ET

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Blog   |   South Africa, Zimbabwe

ANC plans taint Southern Africa's press freedom leader

Presidents Mugabe and Zuma at this month's SADC summit. (EPA)

As heads of state gathered last week at the summit of the Southern African Development Community, or SADC, in Namibia, their discussions were dominated by the progress of Zimbabwe's precarious power-sharing political agreement, which includes pledges to address a repressive media environment. Leading the mediation in the Zimbabwean crisis has been neighboring South Africa, which has been seen as a one-eyed man among the blind in terms of democracy and press freedom in Southern Africa. Yet the moral authority of South African president Jacob Zuma in Zimbabwe's situation is undermined by proposals of his African National Congress-led government to restrict the vibrant press in South Africa.  

Case   |   Ethiopia

Assault, vandalism reported at Awramba Times

On August 17, 2010, two men barged into the offices of the Awramba Times, the independent Amharic-language weekly in the capital, Addis Ababa, and assaulted Moges Tikuye, a security guard, the paper reported. Tikuye suffered minor injuries. Early the next morning, assailants smashed the windows and doors of the office.

August 19, 2010 3:37 PM ET

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Blog   |   South Africa

In South Africa, a new struggle for press freedom

President Zuma in parliament. (AP/Nic Bothma)

The South African media is facing its fiercest battle yet with the country's ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC), over the boundaries of freedom of expression in the 16-year-old democracy. On August 8, 37 senior members of the media issued a declaration decrying recent moves on the part of the ANC to potentially restrict the media's ability to report freely. The Auckland Park Declaration was published shortly after a war of words erupted over a media tribunal proposed by the party.

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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Alerts   |   Somalia

Puntland editor jailed after airing rebel leader interview

New York, August 16, 2010--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on authorities in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland to immediately release jailed radio journalist Abdifatah Jama, who was sentenced on Saturday to six years in prison on charges related to an interview with Islamic rebel leader Sheikh Mohamed Said Atom.

August 16, 2010 4:10 PM ET

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Letters   |   South Africa

In South Africa, legislation would restrict press

Dear President Zuma: We are writing to express our concern about legislative proposals that would severely restrict South Africa's independent press corps, which is distinguished for its dynamism and professionalism. We call on you as the head of state and leader of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to ensure that such proposals are either amended in line with constitutional safeguards for freedom of the press and access to information, or withdrawn altogether in the interest of preserving the transparency, accountability, and democracy gained after apartheid.

Blog   |   Burkina Faso

Africa's path to press freedom goes online

The author

Fifty years ago, development journalism helped to silence dissenting voices: One had to rally to the fathers of the nation for the sake of national unity. Accordingly, the legacy of these 50 years of Francophone media in Africa is freedom of the press and opinion. Journalists prod the elites, who are allergic to criticism, and require that they account for their handling of power and assume responsibility in the face of the various scandals they cause. Recently in Burkina Faso for instance, a government minister had to resign after the print media revealed his extramarital affair with a married woman. This was unthinkable a few years ago. 

August 12, 2010 12:27 PM ET

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Alerts   |   CPJ, Equatorial Guinea

CPJ, partner groups urge UNESCO to pull Obiang prize

New York, August 12, 2010--The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization should cancel the Obiang prize at its next session in October 2010, the Committee to Protect Journalists and 95 partner groups said in a letter to UNESCO Executive Board members today.

August 12, 2010 9:19 AM ET

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2010

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