New digital media: freedom of expression and safeguarding journalists in the context of East Africa

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Abstract

Many East African states have developed restrictive legal and policy measures regarding the use of the internet. This has resulted in the declining state of media freedom and safety of journalists. This article addresses freedom of expression as a pre-condition for safeguarding journalists in selected East African countries of Tanzania and Burundi. It highlights notable cases, where the regional court has emphasized the importance of press freedom as a precursor for democracy. It concludes that the relevant regional legal framework offers adequate protection for the safety of journalists. However, countries have not fully implemented their obligations. In particular, press and cyber laws create a chilling effect on the treatment of journalists. The article contributes to a broader interrogation of how discourses about the safety of journalists are constructed and applied in the context of growing online activity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-71
Number of pages23
JournalCross-Cultural Human Rights Review
Volume2
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • East Africa
  • digital media
  • democracy
  • journalists
  • freeedom of expression
  • safeguarding

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