The Sahel region of Africa is one of the most perilous places a journalist can report according to a recent study by Reporters Without Borders.
“What It’s Like to Be a Journalist in the Sahel” details the ongoing erosion of press freedom that’s putting the region on track to become a “no-news zone”. Local and international journalists not only risk their lives but also the possibility of being kidnapped, arrested or expelled amid a rise in armed groups and military governments who view a free press as a threat to their authority.
In the past ten years five journalists have been killed, six have gone missing and nearly 120 have been arrested or detained. French journalist Olivier Dubois was freed earlier this year after being abducted in Mali two years ago. While journalists struggle to report under pressure the number of outlets has also declined, making accessing critical information increasingly difficult.
International news organizations like Radio France International and France 24 have had their operations suspended in several countries while essential local radio stations have also been shuttered. Sadibou Marong, Director of RSF sub-Saharan Africa bureau has warned that “decisive action is needed to avoid depriving 110 million Sahelians of their basic right to be informed”.
In this episode of The Stream we discuss the challenges of being a journalist in the Sahel and what’s in store for the future of journalism in the region.
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