Africa/Global: Media Repression 2.0

AfricaFocus Bulletin
April 25, 2017 (170425)
(Reposted from sources cited below)

Editor’s Note

“In the days when news was printed on paper, censorship was a crude
practice involving government officials with black pens, the seizure
of printing presses and raids on newsrooms. The complexity and
centralization of broadcasting also made radio and television
vulnerable to censorship even when the governments didn’t exercise
direct control of the airwaves. … New information technologies–
the global, interconnected internet; ubiquitous social media
platforms; smart phones with cameras–were supposed to make
censorship obsolete. Instead, they have just made it more
complicated.” – Joel Simon, Committee to Protect Journalists, April
25, 2017

The 2017 Attacks on the Press report from the Committee to Protect
Journalists, just released today and entitled “The New Face of
Censorship,” speaks of issues faced both by old and new media in
countries around the world. Joel Simon’s opening article refers to
“Repression 2.0,” and like Repression 1.0 includes centuries-old
technologies such as murder and imprisonment of journalists as well
as those mentioned in the paragraph above. But it also includes
shutting down social media (or the entire internet), harassment by
automated bots or targeted attacks on web sites, or economic
pressures through withdrawal of state advertising in targeted

The CPJ report is available on-line at

Most of the chapters apply worldwide, and are available at the  link

This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains links to several chapters
specifically on Africa in the CPJ report, and several articles
focused specifically on the situation in Cameroon and in Zambia.
Another AfricaFocus Bulletin sent out earlier today, and available
at, has several
reports on the current political crisis in Zambia, involving
repression both of media and of opposition leaders.

On Cameroon see also for Le Monde April 21 article (in
French): “Après trois mois de coupure, Internet est de retour dans
la partie anglophone du Cameroun”

and Amnesty International news flash on April 24 on the sentencing
by a military court of radio journalist Ahmed Abba to ten years in
prison (

On the use of advertising as a weapon, see also the April 18 article
by George Ogola, with particular reference to the case of Kenya *

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AfricaFocus Bulletin is an independent electronic publication
providing reposted commentary and analysis on African issues, with a
particular focus on U.S. and international policies. AfricaFocus
Bulletin is edited by William Minter.

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