Tom Rhodes/CPJ East Africa Representative
Tom Rhodes is CPJ's East Africa representative, based in Nairobi. Rhodes is a founder of southern Sudan’s first independent newspaper. Follow him on Twitter: @africamedia_CPJ
Tanzania’s press wait to see if new president will reform troubling media laws
Elections in Tanzania passed smoothly in October, but several local journalists and a media lawyer told me the spectre of anti-press laws is casting a pall over critical reporting in the country and that hopes for legal reform under the newly elected President John Pombe Magufuli remain muted.
Shooting of freelance reporter increases fear for South Sudan’s press
Freelance journalist Peter Julius Moi used to ride a motorbike without wearing a helmet, despite warnings from one of his colleagues to be more careful. Moi would just shrug off those concerns, saying that as a South Sudanese journalist “risk was simply part of life.” Last month, the reporter was shot dead as he walked…
Burundi must investigate attacks on journalists
The Committee to Protect Journalists and 18 other organizations are urging Burundi authorities to investigate attacks on journalists and human rights defenders. Since the April announcement that President Pierre Nkurunziza would run for a third term, defying constitutional limitations and sparking months of protests, journalists have been routinely targeted. At least five radio stations were…
Mission Journal: Fewer arrests but fear still lingers for Somaliland’s press
Conditions for the press in the semi-autonomous republic of Somaliland may, on the surface, appear to be improving. But without a functioning media law to lend protection, and pending legislative elections, journalists remain wary of state harassment.
Press law debate and journalist’s release signal hope for Burundi’s media
Burundi journalists may have more space to report freely ahead of the country’s controversial elections this year after the legislative assembly pushed for amendments to a draconian press law and a radio director was released on bail.
Mission Journal: As South Sudan conflict continues press still suffers
On December 15 last year, fighting that broke out between supporters of South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar–who had been vice president until Kiir fired the entire Cabinet–escalated into a civil war that has increased pressure on an already fragile independent press.
New charges against Ethiopian publications further diminish critical voices
Five independent magazines and a weekly newspaper have been charged by Ethiopia’s Justice Ministry, a move that may add to the long lists of shuttered publications and Ethiopian journalists in exile. In a press release issued August 4, the ministry accused the journals of publishing false information, inciting violence, and undermining public confidence in the…
Kenyan journalists, CPJ launch new initiative to improve security
Today, the Committee to Protect Journalists in collaboration with local media organizations launched a journalist security guide and protocol designed specifically for the Kenyan press. The initiative stems from research conducted in 2013 by the same group of organizations, the Kenya Media Working Group, in light of acute and unique security challenges for the Kenyan…
CPJ calls on Ethiopian government to release imprisoned journalists
CPJ is among a group of more than 40 regional and international press freedom and civil society organizations that have signed a joint letter to Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn expressing concern over the recent imprisonment of Ethiopian journalists under the country’s far-reaching 2009 anti-terrorism law.
Twenty Ethiopia state journalists dismissed, in hiding
“If they cannot indoctrinate you into their thinking, they fire you,” said one former staff member of the state-run Oromia Radio and Television Organization (ORTO), who was dismissed from work last month after six years of service. “Now we are in hiding since we fear they will find excuses to arrest us soon,” the journalist,…