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bird’s TenX: The Ten African countries at the top of the Press Freedom index

bird’s TenX: The Ten African countries at the top of the Press Freedom index

PRESS freedom has emerged as a crucial barometer of Africa's democratic progress. Across the continent, ten nations are scripting a new narrative of empowerment and transparency, where bold and free media is not just a dream but a burgeoning reality. This list was compiled with the help of the online data-gathering platform, Statista. Namibia Namibia's position as a leader in African press freedom is no accident. The country's media is offered a political and legislative environment that actively supports the free exercise of journalism. This commitment reflects Namibia's understanding of the crucial role of the press in a thriving democracy,…
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State of the news: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa push African countries high up the media trust ladder, TikTok advancing rapidly

State of the news: Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa push African countries high up the media trust ladder, TikTok advancing rapidly

ACCORDING to the recently released Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2023, Kenya has the second-highest level of trust in the news of all countries included in the global report. At 63%, Kenyans' trust in the news is remarkably high, surpassed only by Finland (at 69%). Kenyan commercial TV outlets are that country's most trusted news sources, alongside the Daily Nation newspaper and its associated website, according to the report. Portugal ranked third with a score of 58%, while Nigeria and South Africa tied for fourth place with 57% each, according to the twelfth edition of the report, published by the…
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UN rights chief urges Tunisian leader to stop curbing media freedoms

UN rights chief urges Tunisian leader to stop curbing media freedoms

UNITED Nations human rights chief Volker Turk called on Tunisia to stop restricting media freedoms and said it was criminalizing independent journalism since President Kais Saied seized wide powers in 2021. Freedom of speech and media were key gains for Tunisians after the 2011 revolution that ousted autocratic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and triggered the Arab Spring protests. But activists and journalists say freedom of speech faces a serious threat under Saied's rule. "The crackdown earlier this year against judges, politicians, labour leaders, businesspeople and civil society actors has now spread to target independent journalists, who are increasingly…
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Behind the news: Meet the climate journalist training African media practitioners on climate reporting

Behind the news: Meet the climate journalist training African media practitioners on climate reporting

AFTER graduating as a journalist in 2012, Tendai Guvamombe's desire to engage with climate-sensitive citizens led him to pursue environmental reporting. Unable to land a job in the media industry in Zimbabwe, he began working as a freelance journalist. "Only a strong passion for climate change kept me going. I didn't even mind that after putting so much effort into producing my pieces, several publishers I sent out my work to could not pay me. Occasionally, one or two would offer payment, but the amounts were small. Despite this, I continued to persevere," he said. In the process, Guvamombe discovered…
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‘Peter Pan’ Enahoro, Nigerian journalist and publisher, was not afraid to speak his mind

‘Peter Pan’ Enahoro, Nigerian journalist and publisher, was not afraid to speak his mind

THERE are some people whose lives intersect with yours even if you never meet them in the flesh. One of these was Peter Osajele Aizegbeobor Enahoro, the Nigerian journalist who was also known by his pen name, Peter Pan. Enahoro died on 24 April 2023 in London, aged 88. He had worked in Nigeria from 1954 to 1967. As a journalist and journalism teacher, I have followed his career – one of professional excellence and achievements. He was a bold journalist who was not afraid to say what he thought was right. Author OLAYINKA OYEGBILE, Journalist and Communications scholar, Trinity…
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Media freedom and democracy: Africans in four countries weigh up thorny questions about state control

Media freedom and democracy: Africans in four countries weigh up thorny questions about state control

IN July 2022, BBC Africa Eye released a documentary on gang activity in northwestern Nigeria. The programme, The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara, examined the raids on villages, abductions and murders that have plagued swaths of the country. Notably, it included interviews with so-called bandits, who described their violent actions and laid out their grievances. Author JEFFREY CONROY-KRUTZ, Associate Professor of Political Science, Michigan State University The Nigerian government responded furiously to the documentary’s airing. The minister of information, Lai Mohamed, called it “a naked glorification of terrorism and banditry”. The National Broadcasting Commission, which regulates broadcasting, said it “undermines national…
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Al Jazeera journalist freed from pretrial detention in Egypt

Al Jazeera journalist freed from pretrial detention in Egypt

AN Al Jazeera correspondent has been released from about four years' pretrial detention in Egypt, his wife said in a tweet. Egypt's Press Syndicate head Khaled Elbalshy confirmed to Reuters that the Qatar-based television network correspondent Hisham Abdel Aziz had returned home on Sunday evening. Last September, Egyptian authorities also released Al Jazeera journalist Ahmed Al Nagdy from detention as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made his first visit to Doha since the two countries restored relations. Sisi led the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi in 2013, after which Egypt accused Al Jazeera of being a mouthpiece for the…
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From advertising blackmail to physical threats, Kenya’s journalists are under attack – but they must also regain public trust

From advertising blackmail to physical threats, Kenya’s journalists are under attack – but they must also regain public trust

IN recent months, Kenyan journalists have been harassed, intimidated and attacked by government officials, politicians and members of the public. George Ogola, a professor of media industries, explains the impact of these attacks on media freedom in Kenya. What are the major emerging threats against media freedom in Kenya? Author GEORGE OGOLA, Professor of Media Industries, University of Nottingham Kenya’s media face threats from both state and non-state actors as repressive practices of the past reemerge. Government and opposition politicians are actively undermining media freedom in the country. This isn’t entirely new. But the threats have taken a new dimension…
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Algerian parliament approves a new law that tightens control over the media

Algerian parliament approves a new law that tightens control over the media

THE Algerian parliament approved a new media law that tightens control over the work of journalists and imposes new restrictions. While the government said the law is critical to ensuring the free exercise of media activity under legal controls, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said the law included "negative chapters" that constitute a violation of press freedom. The law prohibits the Algerian media from receiving any funding or material assistance from any "foreign entity". Communication Minister Mohamed Bouslimani said the law aims to "enshrine freedom and pluralism of the press" and "protect it from all forms of deviation". The new law…
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How Africa’s media covered the Nigeria elections and why it matters

How Africa’s media covered the Nigeria elections and why it matters

AN OPINION PIECE FOR BIRD STORY AGENCY BETWEEN February and March 2023, Nigerians went to the polls to elect a new President and parliament. This was the seventh national vote since Nigeria's transition from military rule in 1999. With one out of every four Africans being a Nigerian, the country is Africa's largest democracy and the most populous black nation globally. Its population is expected to overtake that of the US in size by 2050 to become the world's second-largest democracy. It's also the largest economy on the continent. Nigeria's new electoral law provided a five-month public campaign period for…
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