CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Mali


News stands in Mali are empty as journalists strike. (news.abamako.com)

Mali's press has endured one attack too many.

Since the coup d'état of March 22, 2012, CPJ has documented a staggering 62 anti-press violations across Mali. Journalists and media houses have become ready targets of attacks, threats, intimidation, assassination attempts, arbitrary arrests, detentions, and censorship by separatist and Islamist militant groups and government security forces alike. 

Mali junta leader Captain Amadou Sanogo, center, poses surrounded by fellow soldiers in Bamako Thursday. (AFP/Habibou Kouyate)

Yesterday, while reporting on breaking news in Mali from studios in Atlanta, CNN Wire Newsdesk Editor Faith Karimi made an ominous observation that presaged the outcome of developments unfolding 5,000 miles away. "#Mali president @PresidenceMali has not tweeted in 10 hours after reports of gunfire and a coup attempt," she tweeted.

Mali's press: The paradox of its two faces

In terms of freedom of expression and democratic and media pluralism, Mali is undeniably today one of the leading countries in francophone Africa. In this year marking the 50th anniversary of Mali's independence, the country's media pool includes 300 private FM radio stations, and about 50 newspapers and periodicals. This incredible blossoming of the Malian press is due to the ease of launching newspapers, the freedom of expression they enjoy, and the liberalization of the airwaves.
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