Burkina Faso / Africa

Journalists attacked in Burkina Faso since 1992

  
Residents protest over the coup in Ouagadougou in September. With many radio stations silenced during the unrest, pirate station Radio Resistance was a vital resource for news. (Reuters/Joe Penney)

Resistance over the airwaves: Pirate station’s vital role during Burkina Faso coup

Radio Resistance was a pirate radio station born out of necessity. During Burkina Faso’s short-lived military coup last month, in which many local radio stations were forced off air, it kept citizens informed and gave them the courage to stand up against the attempted takeover, Burkinabe journalists said.

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A poster advertises a screening of Timbuktu at the Pan-African Film Festival in Burkina Faso. The Oscar-nominated film on Islamic militancy was barred from a Paris suburb. (AFP/Ahmed Ouoba)

Ban of India’s Daughter and other films silences debate on key issues

What do Delhi, Beijing, and Villiers-sur-Marne have in common, but Ouagadougou does not? The first three recently banned access to films their governments deemed inappropriate. But a film festival in the fourth, the capital of Burkina Faso in West Africa, is stepping up security to show an acclaimed but controversial movie about Islamic militancy in…

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Lohé Issa Konaté (Lydia Ouédraogo)

Jailed Burkinabe journalist appeals to African Court

Journalist Lohé Issa Konaté has been imprisoned in Burkina Faso since he was convicted in October of criminal defamation over articles in private weekly L’Ouragan alleging corruption and abuse of power at the office of the public prosecutor. In May, an appeals court rejected his appeal and upheld the 12-month sentence, according to defense counsel Halidou…

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Journalists working for state media protest Tuesday in front of the Communications Ministry in Ouagadougou against authorities' meddling in their work. (AFP/Ahmed Ouoba)

Burkina Faso state media journalists protest censorship

In Burkina Faso, tens of journalists from state media today held a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Communications in the capital Ouagadougou to protest what they deem to be excessive government censorship of news coverage.

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Samuel Kiendrebeogo (Courtesy Voice of America)

Samuel Kiendrebeogo: 1949-2012

The African media community lost a central voice this week with the passing of Samuel Kiendrebeogo, the veteran host of weekly media magazine Médias d’Afrique et D’Ailleurs on Voice of America’s French service. Sam, as he was known, died while vacationing in his native Burkina Faso. He was 63.

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A poster for this week's commemoration.

In Norbert Zongo case, 12 years of impunity

For Geneviève Zongo, every December 13 revives excruciating memories of the loss of her husband Norbert Zongo, editor of the weekly L’Indépendant. He was assassinated in 1998 while investigating the murder of a driver working at Burkina Faso’s presidential palace. More painful still is that the killers who ambushed Zongo’s car, riddling it with bullets and…

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The author

Africa’s path to press freedom goes online

Fifty years ago, development journalism helped to silence dissenting voices: One had to rally to the fathers of the nation for the sake of national unity. Accordingly, the legacy of these 50 years of Francophone media in Africa is freedom of the press and opinion. Journalists prod the elites, who are allergic to criticism, and…

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The author, at left, is holding the mike for Upper Volta President Maurice Yaméogo in 1963. (Courtesy Roger Nikièma)

A springtime for Burkina Faso’s press

I will continue to relive for a long time August 5, 1960, the day Upper Volta, as Burkina Faso was then known, proclaimed independence from France! As a presenter of the newly founded national radio network, I was on the air, which was open to listeners all night. Some listeners, with tears of joy on…

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Yahoo France reacts to Burkina Faso e-mail death threats

A week ago today, CPJ sent a letter of concern to President Blaise Compaoré of Burkina Faso urging his government to investigate a series of death threats sent in the past year or so via e-mail to independent journalists there. Using Yahoo France accounts, senders have boasted about intimidating the press in impunity by referencing…

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Burkina Faso police question Zongo protesters

This morning, police in Burkina Faso summoned four leaders of a march over the weekend that called for a renewed investigation into the unsolved 1998 assassination of investigative journalist Norbert Zongo. Among those questioned was Jean-Claude Meda, the president of the Association of Journalists of Burkina Faso, who told me that he received a call…

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