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Madagascar

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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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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

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