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Mali’s Media Freedom

Even though Mali is one of the world’s poorest countries, when it comes to Freedom of the Press, it is a free country, with 24 points. Mali’s constitution protects the citizens from free speech, and the broadcast and , print media in Mali is one of the freest in Africa. There are still a lot of rules regarding libel from a 1993 law, but no one has gotten in trouble for it since 2007. The media in Mali work with Mali government to make sure they are accountable for the people. Fore example, in 2009, the press asked the Malian government where the funds for a private telecommunications company went after officials were resisting on doing so.

Mali was under a one party dictatorship for many years, but turned into a multiparty democratic country in the early 1990s. 1992 was its first Presidential election, and has continued being for the most part a fair election every five years. Mali is a more open economy, but still struggles with it. Agriculture is the city’s main major activity, but the land is unproductive. Malians work overseas to bring back money to home. Agriculture is based off of foreign trade and bringing it back to Mali.

Mali was a French colony named Soudan. In 1959, Soudan and adjacent country Senegal were united to form the Mali Federation, but than became independent in 1960. Soudan left, and Mali became an independent republic.

Media: The news media in Mali is the most free of the Sub-Saharan Africa region. An independent press was the reason why Mali made a turnaround from a dictatorship to a thriving multiparty democracy in the 1990s. Malian Broadcast stations are also respected, with 50 of them in the country, broadcasting in local languages. 40 privately owned newspapers circulate in Mali. Newspapers must register with the MInistry of Communication. At times, keeping the financial status for newspapers is difficult. Only 2% of Mali had internet access in 2009. It is very respected that Mali has newspapers because it is a very poor country with a high illiteracy rate. 1991 was the first year radio went on the air.

Articles:

http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-press/2011/mali

-This article states Mali’s constitution protects its citizens from the right of free speech, and broadcast and print media. It also states not a lot of journalists have been hurt due to their work. Mali has a very diverse media environment, ranging from 50 privately owned newspapers to 300 FM radio stations.

-Maison de la Presse” opened up in 2011, which is government funded and provides journalists with journalism training and a place to work.

http://www.voanews.com/content/mali-journalists-protest-press-freedom/1211348.html

-This article is about an attack on freedom of the press from a group of armed soldiers that came to a private media house to tell them not to broadcast an interview with a Tuareg rebel leader which happened in June of this year.  The soldiers also complained about other programming which contained negative connotation regarding the Malian army.

-Reporters do not blame Africable for not showing MLNA’s, since they were threatened by armed soldiers.

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