Elections and the Media in Post-Conflict Africa: Votes and by Marie-Soleil Frère

By Marie-Soleil Frère

During the last ten years, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Chad, significant African Republic, Congo Brazzaville and Rwanda all equipped pluralist elections in a put up clash context, having skilled an armed clash which both interrupted or avoided democratization processes. These polls have been prepared with the aid of the overseas neighborhood, which considered them as a vital step within the peace-building method. The neighborhood media's function all through has been to make sure that an electoral approach is de facto "free and reasonable" -- a task that turns into much more the most important in international locations the place the media have formerly being perceived as warmongers or peace-builders within the conflicts. Giving a voice to African reporters and examining the paintings they've been publishing or broadcasting in the course of those elections, African media expert Marie-Soleil Frere explores if and the way the neighborhood media fulfilled their tasks. In doing so, the e-book finds newshounds' professionalism at a time while a lot is predicted from the media, in addition to the serious political strain confronted which may make their paintings fairly tough. Insightful and accomplished, Elections and the Media in Post-Conflict Africa underlines either the significance and the fragility of the function of the media in a democratic system. 

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Additional resources for Elections and the Media in Post-Conflict Africa: Votes and Voices for Peace?

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First, there was a reluctance among some politicians to go to the polls (inÂ�cluding on the part of the serving president, Domitien Ndayizeye, a member of FRODEBU who had succeeded Buyoya, as stipulated in the Arusha Agreement, but who was not allowed to be candidate). 2 But this money was slow to materialize. Thirdly, the insecurity persisted, as rebels from the Party for the Liberation of Hutu People – National Liberation Front (PALIPEHUTU-FNL) rejected the peace process. These obstacles led to an extension of the transition period, which was originally intended to end on 1 November 2004.

Though the print media, despite their limited circulation, did play a role in exacerbating ethnic tensions throughout the campaign (most papers fanning the flames of hatred and denigrating the other community), it was particularly after the elections that the media became more radical. Papers close to the loser, President Buyoya, attempted to undermine the credibility of the electoral process and the new authorities. After the assassination of Melchior Ndadaye by Tutsi officers, papers allied to FRODEBU also turned into outright ‘hate media’ (Ndarishikarye and Dupaquier 1995).

Distribution was limited to the capital, if not to the centre of Bangui alone. There was no transport network allowing the distribution of the papers in the provinces: there was neither any organized public transport by road, nor any regular domestic flights linking Bangui to other towns within the country. The print media appeared exclusively in French, since Sango is essentially a spoken language. The newspapers were the property of a single man, the editor, and were run by young graduates with no training in journalism as there was no school of journalism in the CAR.

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