CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Africa

Blog   |   Gambia

Jammeh to news media: I set limits on press freedom

No sacrifices to the "altar of freedom of the press," says Jammeh. (AFP)

Last week, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh participated in a rare meeting with select members of the West African nation's press corps. Jammeh spoke in favor of access to public information. He announced that he would allow The Standard newspaper to resume publication, five months after the National Intelligence Agency forced its editor, Sheriff Bojang, to halt production. But the president largely lashed out at the Gambian private press and critics of his repressive media policies in the meeting, a tense session that was broadcast on state television. Jammeh, a former army captain who seized power in a 1994 coup, spoke in a harsh and contemptuous tone as he addressed media owners invited to the State House in the capital, Banjul.

March 23, 2011 12:55 PM ET

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Blog   |   South Africa

In South Africa, threats to press cloud Human Rights Day

Western Cape protesters march against South Africa's secrecy bill. (R2K)

As South Africa celebrated Human Rights Day on March 21, the country was beset by uncertainty on the fate of media freedom and the ability of the press to report without state interference. 

March 22, 2011 12:36 PM ET

Blog   |   Ivory Coast

In Ivory Coast, journalists pick sides or flee

Gbagbo youth leader Charles Blé Goudé urges supporters to take up arms. (AFP/Sia Kambou)

Reporting on the power struggle in Ivory Coast is increasingly perilous, with journalists facing a climate of threats, intimidation, and attacks that has forced many to choose between adopting partisan coverage or fleeing to safety. "Here, we are in a situation where if you are not with one camp, then you are against them. You must show you are partisan," reporter Stéphane Goué told CPJ today.

March 21, 2011 5:46 PM ET

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Blog   |   Democratic Republic of the Congo

Killer of DRC technician said to wear police uniform

Hardy Kazadi Ilunga was just 21. A technician with the private station Radio-Télévision Mosaïque in the southern Democratic Republic of Congo town of Likasi, he was murdered late Saturday by a gunman apparently wearing a police uniform, according to the Congolese press freedom group OLPA and local journalists. 

March 16, 2011 2:18 PM ET

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Blog   |   Cameroon

Fearing Egypt-style revolt, Cameroon bars Twitter service

"For security reasons, the government of Cameroon requests the suspension of the Twitter sms integration on the network," announced a March 8 tweet by Bouba Kaélé, marketing manager of the Cameroon unit of South Africa-based telecommunications provider MTN. The announcement has since disappeared from Kaélé's Twitter feed, but was memorialized by a handful of Twitter users who retweeted the comment and the Cameroonian daily Le Jour, which printed a story.

March 14, 2011 12:56 PM ET

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Blog   |   Zimbabwe

For Zimbabwean journalist Saize, the absurd is routine

For 37-year-old Zimbabwean freelance journalist Sydney Saize, left, enduring arrest and assault has become absurdly routine--and the circumstances routinely absurd. Take his most recent detention, in February. Saize was reporting on a mundane criminal case in Mutare, capital of the diamond-rich Manicaland province, when the story suddenly turned dramatic.

March 14, 2011 10:34 AM ET

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Blog   |   Liberia

Bob Stan, Liberia press pioneer, captivates at 80

The Liberian press is flourishing, but press freedom is a concern, says Stanton B. Peabody.

Veteran journalist Stanton B. Peabody, a pioneer of press freedom in Liberia, turned 80 last month. Peabody, known to family and friends as "Bob Stan," is a captivating figure full of wisdom and humor. We talked recently about his journalism career, one that has tracked the blossoming of the press in Liberia. 

March 10, 2011 11:04 AM ET

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Blog   |   Egypt, Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe charges 45 with treason for viewing Egypt footage

Men and women arrested for watching footage of the unrest in Egypt wait outside a Harare courthouse. (Reuters)

The right to receive and impart information is a fundamental human right enshrined in the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but in Zimbabwe, watching news of North African and Middle East protests apparently amounts to treason. 

March 4, 2011 1:56 PM ET

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Blog   |   France, Rwanda

Out of Africa: Lucie Umukundwa five years later

(Lucie Umukundwa)

Five years after helping her leave her region due to threats, CPJ catches up with Rwandan journalist Lucie Umukundwa to learn more about her struggles to resettle in another continent, regain a foothold in journalism and continue to make an impact in Africa.

March 4, 2011 1:04 PM ET

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Blog   |   Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Zimbabwe

Sub-Saharan Africa censors Mideast protests

A man sets up a satellite dish in Zimbabwe, where state news is severely restricted on the ongoing protests in the Middle East, but where CNN is still accessible. (AP)As news of Middle Eastern and North African protests swirl around the globe, satellite television and the Internet prove vital sources of information for Africans as governments fearful of an informed citizenry and a free press such as in Eritrea, Equatorial Guinea, and Zimbabwe impose total news blackouts on the developments.

2011

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