CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

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

How to survive in Tanzania's press

December 23, 2011 9:39 AM ET

There is one simple rule for survival in Tanzania's media - whether you are an editor, reporter, columnist, printer, or even news vendor: don't be critical. Thanks to repressive laws on Tanzania's books, an article considered libelous by the state can get anyone in trouble, even prominent journalists such as...

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The silent funeral of an exiled Rwandan journalist

December 5, 2011 5:15 PM ET

The crime reporter for Uganda's vibrant Daily Monitor, Andrew Bagala, went to an odd funeral over the weekend. Last week, he covered the murder of online journalist Charles Ingabire, 32, who was shot dead in the early hours of Thursday morning by unknown gunmen at a bar in a...

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South Sudan journalist speaks out after illegal detention

November 22, 2011 4:32 PM ET

Detained without charge for 18 days, tortured, and released without explanation, South Sudanese journalist Peter Ngor plans to fight back. "I am going to sue them [in] court. What they did to me was completely, utterly wrong," said Ngor, the editor of a new, private, English-language daily called Destiny....

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Glimmer of hope for justice in Kenyan death

November 3, 2011 4:28 PM ET

Slain journalist Francis Nyaruri received threatening calls from a senior policeman shortly before he disappeared and his decapitated body was found in Kodera forest, western Kenya, a court sitting in Kisumu heard today in the presence of two murder suspects and four witnesses....

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Swedish support for jailed colleagues in Ethiopia, Eritrea

October 17, 2011 4:47 PM ET

If you pass by Kronoberg Prison in Sweden's capital, Stockholm, you will see journalists chained to its gates. They have committed no crime. For over a week, journalists have taken turns locking themselves up in front of the prison to raise awareness of the imprisonment of three colleagues held...

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A quiet victory for The Namibian

September 9, 2011 1:14 PM ET

Namibia's information minister recently announced that a decade-long state advertising boycott of The Namibian, the country's largest daily newspaper, would finally end. An action intended to punish the paper for its independence had failed. It was back in December 2000 that former President Sam Nujoma told his cabinet to...

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Mission Journal: South Sudan's struggle for a free press

September 8, 2011 1:44 PM ET

The former guerrillas of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) fought a 22-year civil war for greater autonomy and civil rights for the southern Sudanese people, culminating in South Sudan's independence this July. But local journalists fear the former rebels turned government officials still harbor a war mentality that...

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Rwandan paper calls president a 'sociopath', apologizes

August 4, 2011 5:35 PM ET

Sometimes when a paper produces a defamatory piece, an apology will be published on page two in the next edition along with the day's news. In Rwanda, it would appear, a paper will use an entire edition to apologize--if the insults were directed at the president. The latest issue...

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Habeas corpus writ seeks Dawit Isaac, jailed for 3,600 days

August 3, 2011 12:06 PM ET

Journalist Dawit Isaac, co-founder of Eritrea's now-defunct leading newspaper Setit, has spent nearly 10 years in one of the reclusive Red Sea nation's secret prisons with no charges ever placed against him. Isaac's location and health status are currently unknown, as are those of at least 16 other journalists...

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Terrorists? A look at two jailed Ethiopian journalists

July 20, 2011 3:23 PM ET

At the end of June, Ethiopia's Anti-Terror Task Force arrested nine people on charges of attempting to "destroy electrical and telecommunication infrastructures" with support from Ethiopia's arch-enemy, Eritrea. Held under Ethiopia's far-reaching antiterrorism law, only four of the suspects' names have so far been revealed and two of them happen...

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