Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Hanging up a "Do Not Enter" Sign on the Border

Zimbabwe’s press today lies in ruins. If, in 2007, Reporters Without Borders has recorded fewer press freedom violations than in previous years, it is because there are very few journalists left to arrest, newspapers to close or foreign correspondents to expel.

This is how Reporters Without Borders's annal report from 2008 on Zimbabwe begins. The country, under the ruling of Robert Mugabe since 1980, has become one spot where journalists are not welcome. The government has managed to close down many of the privately owned newspapers. Foreign reporters are often arrested, if they make it into the country to begin with. Large media corporations like the BBC and CNN are banned from the country. Many bylines on the country featured in newspapers like the New York Times read "Johannesburg," the largest city of neighboring South Africa.

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