News / Africa

Watchdog Group Calls for Media Reform in Ivory Coast

Anne Look

The international media watchdog group, Reporters without Borders, is calling on Ivory Coast's two remaining presidential candidates to discourage media supporters from using inflammatory language during the run-off election and, if elected, to institute media reform.

Official campaigning kicks off Saturday for Ivory Coast's Nov. 28 presidential run-off between current president, Laurent Gbagbo, and former prime minister, Alassane Ouattara.

Reporters Without Borders has expressed concern that during the run-up to this second round of campaigning, several newspapers have revived topics and slogans that could fuel tensions, like ethnic issues.

Head of the group's media-monitoring project in Ivory Coast, Jocelyn Grange, said the media played a role in deepening the social divisions that led to the 2002-2003 civil war, specifically with regards to the issue of Ivorian nationality, which remains sensitive.

In letters to both candidates this week, Reporters Without Borders urged them to call on their supporters in the press "to refrain from insults, defamation, and hate messages."

The Paris-based media watchdog found that media coverage of the first round of campaigning in October was, for the most part, positive, with the exception of articles in a few privately-owned newspapers, many of whom are politically-affiliated.

However, the group gave public radio and television mixed reviews.

Project head, Jocelyn Grange, says the state-owned broadcasters covered all 14 candidates in a neutral manner. However, he says they found that current president Laurent Gbagbo got two, even three, times as much air time as the other candidates, mainly he says because state-run broadcasters covered Mr. Gbagbo's activities as head of state in a manner that monitors found excessive during an electoral campaign.

Reporters without Borders is calling on the country's next president to open up broadcasting, especially television, to the private sector. The state currently controls all of the radio and television stations that are authorized to broadcast news.

Reporters Without Borders has also called on the country's National Press Council to ensure that the second round of campaigning is covered in a responsible manner that respects journalistic ethics and the rules of media conduct.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' at 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid