Media in Africa

Angola’s Police Silence the Media

Rights groups and activists are warning of a rapidly deteriorating political climate in Angola following a police raid on a private newspaper and a violent crackdown on anti-government protests.

During the Lord

UGANDA: Using Community Radio to Heal After Kony’s War

Radio Mega FM’s transmission tower rises from the centre of Gulu town, transmitting talk shows and the latest Ugandan radio hits to listeners across the district. But it also serves as something of an informal memorial to community radio-driven peace efforts during the Lord’s Resistance Army’s destruction of northern Uganda.

The Right2Know Campaign will march on Sep. 17 to parliament in protest against the Secrecy Bill.  Credit: Davison Makanga

SOUTH AFRICA: “Secrecy Bill” Step Backwards for Africa

Critics call it "the Secrecy Bill". And it comes at a time when several African countries are adopting promising new legislation on access to information. But campaigners say South Africa's draft Protection of Information Bill represents a step backwards.

Information is one of the most important tools citizens need to make informed decisions, especially about education.  Credit: Mantoe Phakathi/IPS

SWAZILAND: Impossible for Children to Access Public Information

Many public officials in Swaziland do not think that access to information is a public right, but rather a privilege – which can be withdrawn at anytime.

Journalism is a risky profession in Somalia. Credit: Abdurrahman Warsameh

SOMALIA: Will the Prime Minister Uphold Media Freedom?

The appointment of a new prime minister in Somalia amid protests and a media crackdown will do nothing to resolve the country’s problems of corruption and cronyism, political analysts say. But they hope the new appointee may be able to do something about media freedom in the country.

Alassane Ouattara casts his vote in the second round of presidential elections in November 2010. Credit:  Basile Zoma/UN Photo

Manufacturing Cote d’Ivoire’s ‘Good Guy’

As Côte d'Ivoire's bloody leadership contest draws to a close and the surrender of Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent president, seems imminent, a long list of atrocities and electoral irregularities mark the records of both him and his opponent, Alassane Ouattara.

Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa, the IFP mayor of Jozini, says gender is not a limiting factor when it comes to leadership. Credit: Marshall Patsanza/IPS

Q&A: “Gender Not a Limiting Factor in Politics”

In the rural KwaZulu Natal town of Jozini, Thembeni Madlopha-Mthethwa has been the town’s mayor for a decade. And in contrast to the rest of the country, which has experienced numerous civil strikes and service delivery complaints, Jozini has rarely had any such problems.

Fears for South Africa’s Press Freedom

International media freedom watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranks South Africa's press as among the freest on the continent. Two proposed new measures are drawing unfavourable comparisons to repressive laws in Zimbabwe and Ethiopia.

Broken Promises on Zimbabwe Press Freedom

Fourteen months after Zimbabwe's government of national unity was formed, harassment, arbitrary arrest and general intimidation of journalists remains common.

UGANDA: Government Pushes Ahead With Repressive Media Law

The proposed media law is a monster, says Dr George Lugalambi, chair of a coalition fighting to preserve press freedom in Uganda. Publishers and journalists would have to apply annually for a licence, which could be revoked at will in the interests of "national security, stability and unity," or if coverage was deemed to be "economic sabotage."


Secretary-general of the SLAJ, Mustapha Sesay, says the association will fight against the intimidation of the press. Credit: Mohamed Fofanah/IPS

RIGHTS-SIERRA LEONE: Journalists Under Attack

Sierra Leone has become a place of torment for journalists practicing their profession.

Journalist Stanley Kwenda fled Zimbabwe after receiving death threats allegedly from a senior policeman. Credit: Ephraim Nsingo/IPS

RIGHTS-ZIMBABWE: New Threats to Media Freedom

Death threats allegedly made by a senior police officer to a journalist and the arrest of a photographer, all in the space of a few days, have heightened fears of a new onslaught on the country’s media.

Chansa Kabwela speaking to the media after her acquittal. Credit: Kelvin Kachingwe/IPS

RIGHTS-ZAMBIA: ‘Justice Prevailed’ – Says News Editor Acquitted of False Charges

Chansa Kabwela faced a five-year jail sentence when she sent photographs of a woman giving birth, without medical assistance while in the country’s largest hospital, to government officials.

Secretary-general of the SLAJ, Mustapha Sesay, says his organisation is disappointed with the court

SIERRA LEONE: Mixed Reactions to Libel Laws Ruling

Journalists in Sierra Leone can still be arrested and jailed for writing material considered "libel" regardless if what they published is true or not.

SOUTH SUDAN: Media Give Us a Fair Deal – Women

The guns have gone silent – except for sporadic conflict in parts of the vast South Sudan region, such as the Eastern Equatoria State. It may not be the absolute end of the conflict in the region, but it is a reason for renewed hope.

SIERRA LEONE: Claims Presidency Interferes with Judiciary

It may be seven years after the country’s civil war, but Sierra Leone is still battling to obtain an independent judiciary.

Lusaka-based journalists march on the Great East Road campaigning for the violence against journalists to stop. Credit: Kelvin Kachingwe/IPS

ZAMBIA: Media Face Beatings and Attacks

When journalists were beaten by political supporters for covering the president’s return trip from abroad, and cabinet ministers and police officers looked on without stopping it, it seemed to be the last straw in the victimisation of the media. But it was not.

Mary Ndagire (78) will not listen to the radio ever since her favourite radio station was shut down. Credit: Evelyn Matsamura Kiapi/IPS

RIGHTS-UGANDA: Baganda Fight for Their Heritage

Specioza Nakabugo (63) sits on a mat under a mango tree on a well-mowed grass patch, her expression a blend of boredom and gloom.

RIGHTS-UGANDA: Colliding with the Fourth Estate

Charles Odobo Bichachi, editor of the Independent Newspaper has in a span of a year, been summoned to the police several times accused of publishing seditious statements. And just last month, Bichachi fell into trouble again: this time over a cartoon.

Margaret Roka Mauwa, the deputy Minister of Agriculture in Malawi, says she believes in working with the media. Credit: Charles Mpaka/IPS

AFRICA: Counting on Media for Good Governance

While campaigning in the last election, Margaret Roka Mauwa, Member of the Malawian Parliament, did not promise her voters that when she won she would buy them coffins.

UGANDA: The Media is Not Free

Every Saturday afternoon at a public house in the capital city, Lynne Anite, a journalism student at Makerere University, would join senior government officials, academics, and even business people to debate about current affairs.

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