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After 50 years, journalism at a crossroads in Madagascar

Madagascar recently celebrated its 50th Independence Day, a milestone for a Malagasy press that has been documenting through difficult periods the nation’s tumultuous journey of self-rule. The funny thing is that most of our written press is in French, as in most former French colonies, and we never really question why that is or find issue with it. But when it comes to radio, the Malagasy language rules the air, seemingly a tribute to our enduring tradition of oral storytelling. Growing up in Antananarivo, my grandmother, like most Malagasies, would drop everything at the stroke of 2 p.m. to tune the radio she purchased in the 1940s to a daily show callled “Tantara mitohy” (literally, “story in progress”), a well-produced but low-budget radio “telenovela.”

July 21, 2010 8:01 AM ET

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Letters   |   Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Togo

CPJ, African groups call for press freedom commitment

Your Excellencies: As you gather in Paris for festivities that celebrate your nations’ 50 years of independence, we, the undersigned African press freedom advocates petition for your public commitment to a free, vibrant, and self-sustaining press as a cornerstone of the development of francophone Africa in the next five decades.

July 8, 2010 11:20 AM ET

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Alerts   |   Madagascar

Soldiers raid Madagascar radio station, assault staff

New York, May 18, 2010—The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on the government of Madagascar to investigate a Saturday raid on the opposition radio station Fréquence Plus that resulted in the arrest of an opposition leader while he was on a live radio program, local journalists told CPJ. The soldiers injured three journalists and destroyed the station’s equipment in 67 Hectares, a district in the capital, Antananarivo, before arresting opposition leader Ambroise Ravonison and another on-air guest, Harrison Razafindrakoto, the journalists said.
May 18, 2010 5:41 PM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Madagascar

Attacks on the Press 2009: Madagascar

Top Developments
• Rival leaders use media empires to pursue political goals.
• Partisan attacks target journalists, news outlets.

Key Statistic
1: Journalist killed in 2009, the first Malagasy media fatality ever recorded by CPJ.


Malagasy journalists faced censorship, threats, and arrest as former president Marc Ravalomanana and new head of state Andry Rajoelina used their partisan media empires in a struggle for control of this Indian Ocean island nation. One journalist was killed in the midst of violent unrest.

February 16, 2010 12:28 AM ET

Reports   |   Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Colombia, El Salvador, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Venezuela

Philippines, Somalia fuel record death toll

CPJ survey finds at least 68 journalists killed in 2009

Family members of journalists killed in the Maguindanao massacre. (Reuters)

New York, December 17, 2009—At least 68 journalists worldwide were killed for their work in 2009, the highest yearly tally ever documented by the Committee to Protect Journalists, the organization said in its year-end analysis. The record toll was driven in large part by the election-related slaughter of more than 30 media workers in the Philippine province of Maguindanao, the deadliest event for the press in CPJ history.

Blog   |   Madagascar

In Madagascar, media torn along partisan lines

Madagascar's political crisis has led to public distrust of the media. (AFP)"Are you sure about coming back here now?" My cousin in Antananarivo was a bit hesitant about the wisdom of my plan to visit the family while the political crisis was still weighing on the daily lives of Malagasy citizens. I had not been back to my home country in nine years until this summer. Prior to that, I went back every year since I left Madagascar after high school. It may have seemed like a peculiar decision to go back when the situation was less than ideal but it was the one time when my work would allow me to stay for almost a full month.
July 29, 2009 10:51 AM ET

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Blog   |   Madagascar

Amid political tumult, jailing draws protest in Madagascar

MadatimesIn Madagascar, dozens of journalists took to the streets of the capital, Antananarivo, to protest the imprisonment of radio presenter Evariste Ramanatsoavina, held since May 4. Ramanatsoavina, a presenter with Radio Mada, a now-banned station owned by ousted president Marc Ravalomanana, faces charges in connection with the station's political commentary. The case illustrates the volatile struggle for political control of this Indian Ocean island nation--a battle being waged in large part through partisan media outlets.

May 18, 2009 5:26 PM ET

Alerts   |   Madagascar

Madagascar media outlets raided during political crisis

New York, March 10, 2009--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns Saturday's ransacking of a TV and radio broadcaster by security forces in the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar. The raid was part of ongoing government efforts to censor independent media coverage of political unrest, stemming from a bitter power struggle between opposition leader Andry Rajoelina and President Marc Ravalomanana. 

March 10, 2009 4:17 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Madagascar

CPJ seeks probe in killing of reporter in Madagascar protest

New York, February 9, 2009--Authorities in the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar must bring to justice members of the presidential guard responsible for the killing on Saturday of a journalist covering an antigovernment demonstration in the capital, Antananarivo, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. 

February 9, 2009 3:58 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Madagascar

Anti-government protests burn two TV stations

The state broadcaster on fire. (Antanarivo mg)New York, January 26, 2008--Angry opposition supporters burned down two pro-government television stations in the Indian Ocean island of Madagascar today, a few hours after authorities destroyed the antenna of an opposition radio station, according to news reports and local journalists.

January 26, 2009 5:07 PM ET

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