Tom Rhodes

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

CPJ Blog

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Tanzania's press wait to see if new president will reform troubling media laws

December 15, 2015 12:48 PM ET

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....

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Shooting of freelance reporter increases fear for South Sudan's press

September 11, 2015 4:44 PM ET

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...

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Burundi must investigate attacks on journalists

August 6, 2015 1:33 PM ET

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....

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Mission Journal: Fewer arrests but fear still lingers for Somaliland's press

April 17, 2015 4:18 PM ET

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....

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Press law debate and journalist's release signal hope for Burundi's media

March 10, 2015 2:43 PM ET

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....

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In Kenya, press curbed as government seeks to fight terrorism

December 22, 2014 5:12 PM ET

The Kenyan press is being caught in the crossfire as authorities seek to strengthen defenses against terrorists. On December 19, Kenya's president signed into law a security bill that has the power to stop the press covering terror attacks. The government has also recently criticized the media over allegations...

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Mission Journal: As South Sudan conflict continues press still suffers

December 16, 2014 4:31 PM ET

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....

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BBC's Rwanda documentary leads to illogical, illegal suspension

October 28, 2014 4:33 PM ET

When the BBC released in early October its televised documentary "Rwanda's Untold Story," which questioned official accounts of the 1994 genocide, a massive outcry inside and outside Rwanda's borders ensued. Locals and foreigners alike protested the documentary's findings, parliamentarians demanded a ban and legal action, and authorities summarily suspended...

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Burundi's journalist union takes repressive press law to court

September 19, 2014 1:15 PM ET

If the state decides that a journalist's article in Burundi jeopardizes someone's "moral integrity" under the country's Media Law it can demand that the journalist reveals sources, and it can suspend the publication. "It's a backwards, freedom-killing law," said Alexandre Niyungeko, the founder and head of the 300-member Burundi...

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New charges against Ethiopian publications further diminish critical voices

August 20, 2014 4:00 PM ET

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,...

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