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Media Freedom Holds Its Ground in Africa

Media Freedom Holds Its Ground in Africai
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Jeff Seldin
May 01, 2014 8:39 PM
Conflicts in Africa, like the coup in Central African Republic, and violence in Kenya -- like the terrorist attack at the Westgate shopping center -- led to new pressures and more violence against journalists. Meanwhile, corruption raised concerns in Uganda, where one newspaper was briefly shut down. But Freedom House says that is only part of the story. VOA's Jeff Seldin reports.
Conflicts in Africa, like the coup in Central African Republic, and violence in Kenya -- like the terrorist attack at the Westgate shopping center -- led to new pressures and more violence against journalists. Meanwhile, corruption raised concerns in Uganda, where one newspaper was briefly shut down.

But Freedom House says that is only part of the story.
EMBARGOED UNTIL 6AM EDT MAY 1 Media Freedom in Sub-Saharan AfricaEMBARGOED UNTIL 6AM EDT MAY 1 Media Freedom in Sub-Saharan Africa
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EMBARGOED UNTIL 6AM EDT MAY 1 Media Freedom in Sub-Saharan Africa
EMBARGOED UNTIL 6AM EDT MAY 1 Media Freedom in Sub-Saharan Africa


“Pretty much every other region in the world showed an overall level of decline. But in Africa, the overall regional average score remained the same and there were really bright spots, I would say, in a number of countries in West Africa and then in Southern Africa,” said Karin Karlekar with Freedom House.

Among other positives, the report points to better laws and a growing number of media outlets.

Overall, only 3 percent of sub-Saharan Africans have access to a “free” media. Fourteen percent have access to a “partly free” media. And 41 percent live in countries where the media is “not free.”​

Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

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