Elections and the Media in Post Conflict Africa.

TitleElections and the Media in Post Conflict Africa.
Publication TypeBook
Subtitle / Series TitleVotes and Voices for Peace ?
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsFrère, M-S
Number of Pages304pp.
PublisherZed Books

The book describes how, in 6 countries in Central Africa (The Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Chad, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo and Rwanda), pluralist elections were recently organized in a post conflict context. It shows which were the challenges facing the local media to report on those elections, as their role was even more crucial, in countries where the media had previously being perceived as warmongers or peace-builders in the conflicts. Extract  of the chapter  "General Conclusions" (S. 238 ff.): "... we can deduce that there are nine major obstacles to balanced, fair, complete and professional coverge of the polls by the media:

  • 1. Media without media enterprises
  • 2. The 'dangerous liaisons' between media and politics
  • 3. The government's 'public' media
  • 4. The media's limited scope and the information blackout
  • 5. Attacks on the press
  • 6. The regulatory authorities' weaknesses and bias
  • 7. Obstacles to information access
  • 8. The candidates' campaign strategies
  • 9. Confusion between information and communication."

 Table of ContentsIntroduction - New Votes and New VoicesThe Media’s Role in ElectionsPluralist Elections and Free Media in AfricaElections and the Media in Post-Conflict Countries Chapter 1 - Elections and the Media in Central Africa: Stakes and ChallengesBurundi: Elections and Media for PeaceCentral African Republic: The Ballot and the Media in a Stateless CountryRepublic of the Congo: Elections Marred by ViolenceDemocratic Republic of the Congo: A Colossal Political and Media ChallengeRwanda: A Slowly Emerging PluralismChad: The Impossible Democratic Changeover Chapter 2 - The Preparatory Phase: The Media’s pre-electoral CommitmentsInforming VotersPresenting and Analysing the Electoral System and ProcessThe Census and the Establishment of Electoral RegistersThe Authorities in Charge of Monitoring the ElectionsRegulating the Media: Regulation and Regulatory FrameworksDonors’ Interventions: Anticipating or Reacting to the First Symptoms Chapter 3 - The Media during the Electoral CampaignPresenting the Campaign’s Stakes and ActorsThe Fair Allocation of Print Space and AirtimeThe Risks of Going Off TracksInformal Media CampaignsProvincial Media on the Campaign TrailJournalists’ Difficulties in Following the Campaign Chapter 4 - From Polling day to the ResultsCovering Voting OperationsDirect Intervention in the Unfolding of the ElectionsWorking With, Besides or Against Independent ObserversFrom the Polls to the Results: Covering UncertaintyAccepting or Challenging the ResultsEpilogue: Covering What Comes Next ConclusionThe Problems of Electoral Coverage in Post Conflict CountriesOpportunities in the Twenty-First CenturyBibliography About the author: Marie-Soleil Frère is Research Associate at the National Fund for Scientific Research and teaches Journalism at the University of Brussels where she is also the Director of the Research Centre in Information and Communication (ReSIC). Her work explores the relationship between media and politics in Sub-Saharan Africa. She worked previously as a teaching assistant at the University of Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), and as a Program Officer supervising media support projects at the International Organization of the Francophonie in Paris. She has published The Media and Conflicts in Central Africa, Presse et démocratie en Afrique francophone and Médias et Communications sociales au Burkina Faso. She is also an Associate Expert at the Panos Institute in Paris, for which she supervises the publication of training manuals and studies for media practitioners in Africa.

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