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The Media and Conflicts in Central Africa

Marie-Soleil Frère
The Media and Conflicts in Central Africa
ISBN: 978-1-58826-489-3
ISBN: 978-1-58826-465-7
2007/287 pages/LC: 2006102907
A project of the Institut Panos Paris

"Presents a convincing description of the connections between the mass media and politicians in Central Africa."—Emizet F. Kisangani, African Studies Review


This in-depth investigation of the role that local news media play in Central African conflicts combines theoretical analysis with case studies from nine African countries: Burundi, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, the Republic of Congo, and Rwanda.

Each case study presents a comprehensive discussion of media influences during the various conflicts that have spread in the region, as well as their impact on the peace process. Enriching the exploration, a chapter by Jean-Paul Marthoz (former director of information at Human Rights Watch) focuses on the ways in which the media in the global north cover crises on the African continent.

The book contributes greatly to a better understanding of the complex forces at play—and identifies ways that may contribute to strengthening the positive dynamics and mediating the negative ones.


Marie-Soleil Frère (d. March 2021) was research director at Belgium's National Fund for Scientific Research and professor of journalism, specializing in the African media, at the Free university of Brussels. She was also an associate expert at the Panos Institute Paris, for which she supervised the publication of training manuals and studies for media practitioners in Africa.


  • Introduction.
  • Burundi: The Media During War, the Media for Peace.
  • Democratic Republic of Congo: Providing Information in a War-Torn Country.
  • Rwanda: Journalists Before, During, and After the Genocide.
  • Republic of Congo: The Press Among the Militias.
  • Central African Republic: A Fragile and Ill-Used Media Sector.
  • Chad: Media Resistance in the Midst of Turmoil.
  • Cameroon: The Media Between Protest and Submission.
  • Gabon: The Press Facing the Bongo "System."
  • Equatorial Guinea: A Media Sector Under Lock and Key.
  • African Conflicts in the Global Media—J.-P. Marthoz.
  • Conclusion.