Congolese journalists protest insecurity, threats
Reporter Jolly Kamuntu is more than eight months pregnant, but she joined hundreds of Congolese journalists today in nationwide protest marches against insecurity and threats. Kamuntu, who is based in Bukavu, where three reporters have been murdered since 2007, was cited recently in an anonymous text message threatening to kill her and two other local…
Newly freed, Gambian columnist describes jail
On an ordinary Friday, Sarata Jabbi-Dibba, a reporter in the West African nation of Gambia, publishes her weekly column on women’s issues, “She She She,” in the only independent daily newspaper here, The Point. Last Friday however, Dibba was herself a newsmaker—after recovering her freedom.
Uganda’s Museveni issues warning to news media
President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda lashed out at private broadcasters last week, accusing them of unethical reporting. The comments come in the midst of two important, ongoing developments: mounting public criticism of Museveni’s policies and the government’s criminal prosecutions of six journalists for their coverage.
Niger president tightens grip on media with amendment
In Niger today, the government is holding a public referendum on a constitutional amendment that would pave the way for President Mamadou Tandja to run for office indefinitely. It would also further increase the former army colonel’s control over the press. Tandja, at left, has charged ahead with the referendum despite overwhelming public opposition after he…
Press, politics at center of Eritrean mock trial
Articles published in Eritrea’s now-banned private newspapers are at the center of a mock political trial being filmed as an educational documentary this week at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. Inside a courtroom on the sprawling Tempe, Ariz., campus, a judge of the High Court of Eritrea presides dispassionately, international observers lean into translation…
A year later, impunity in attacks on Senegalese media
A year ago last week in Senegal, two reporters covering a soccer match were assaulted with tasers, handcuffed, and abused by police officers after the reporters refused to halt a post-game interview at Léopold Sédar Senghor Stadium in the capital, Dakar. A year on, Senegalese law enforcement has fallen short in bringing to account those…
In Ethiopia, prime minister’s words, actions not in step
This week, in an exclusive interview with the Financial Times, Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi suggested that the press in his country freely expresses dissent. In fact, that is hardly the case. The Horn of Africa nation remains one of the world’s worst backsliders of press freedom.
In Ugandan courts, important press battles
In Uganda last week, four journalists from the leading daily Monitor filed notice that they would challenge the constitutionality of the criminal libel laws before the Supreme Court, the country’s highest court, according to the newspaper’s lawyer, James Nangwala.
Amid political tumult, jailing draws protest in Madagascar
In 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…