African journalists at the mercy of the continent’s instability

In its 2009 Annual Report, Reporters Without Borders  (RSF) states that the year 2009 has confirmed that in some African countries political crises and instability have hit the work of journalists and the media very hard.  RSF considers that states where violence rages find themselves at the lowest level in the world classification of freedom of the media. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), listed as 146th in the world, journalists live in fear of attack and arbitrary arrest. Rwanda (157th), due to tighter control of information as the 2010 elections approach, continues to sink lower with the temporary suspension of local and international media and the sentencing of journalists to prison sentences. It is in this climate that media professionals working in Burundi decided on 4 October 2009 to replace the old Burundian Association of Journalists (ABJ) by a free and independent union of professional and comparable journalists entitled

The Burundian Union of Journalists" (UBJ). Its main objectives are to "protect and strengthen the rights and freedoms of professional and comparable journalists in both the public and private media ». The UBJ intends also «to encourage the media to defend the freedom of the press, social justice and the independence of journalism », especially through control of violations of the rights of professional and comparable journalists.


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