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Malawi

Blog   |   Malawi, South Africa

Photographers attacked: Two weeks in southern Africa

A security officer fires rubber bullets at Star photographer Motshwari Mofokeng. (The Star)

From Cape Town to Lilongwe, four photographers on routine news assignments in major southern Africa cities were assaulted by security officials in the past two weeks. The details differ, but the heavy-handed actions in each case reflect a belief among those responsible for security that they are above the law and not publicly accountable. These recent attacks in southern Africa also highlight a wider phenomenon: Every day, somewhere in the world, news photographers are subjected to physical abuse by security and public officials who wish to suppress or control the powerful message delivered by images.

Blog   |   Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda

Press freedom: Challenge of changing words into deeds

(Pan African Parliament)

The Pan African Parliament's (PAP) launch of a media freedom campaign through a "Dialogue on Media Freedom in Africa" in mid-May marks an important and welcome starting point. For too long, media freedom has been divorced from the debate around development and democratization when it has an integral role to play in promoting transparency, underpinning good governance, and enabling citizens to make informed decisions.

Blog   |   Malawi

A bad weekend for Malawian journalists

The government of Malawian President Bingu Wa Mutharika, pictured, has threatened journalists with fines and arrests for disrespecting him. (AFP/Alexander Joe)

No media outlet critical of President Bingu Wa Mutharika or the ruling Democratic Progressive Party was spared by the government this past weekend -- whether print, broadcast, or online. The broadside included a public campaign to discredit the media as well as threats of fines and arrests of critical journalists.

Blog   |   Malawi

Malawi: A prying press silenced by injunctions

The president with first lady Callista Mutharika at a G20 summit last year. (AP)
In Malawi, where half the population survives on a dollar a day, it proves wise for the political elite to keep their exorbitant wealth hidden from public scrutiny.  That's why they appear to be running to the courthouse to file injunctions to silence the press.

Blog   |   Malawi

The Malawian who harnessed the airwaves

Villagers gather at Kondesi's radio station. (Zodiak Broadcasting)

After The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, the autobiography of ingenious 22-year-old William Kamkwamba’s homemade electric windmill in Malawi, comes “the boy who harnessed the airwaves” by building a radio station with rudimentary materials. The tale of 21-year-old Malawian Gabriel Kondesi also showcases the inventiveness spawned by life in this impoverished, landlocked nation in southeastern Africa. Unlike the story of Kamkwamba, though, Kondesi’s tale is still unfolding.

November 16, 2009 2:28 PM ET

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