Containing the Virus and the Media

With emergency powers during West Africa’s Ebola epidemic, governments in affected countries enacted curfews and limited movement. They also curtailed the efforts of independent news media.

Broadcaster David Tam Baryoh in Sierra Leone spent 11 days in jail—likely for criticizing the government's handling of Ebola, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The arrest sent a chilling message to other journalists, and self-censorship followed. Journalists were afraid to ask questions, such as how Parliament is spending millions donated for the Ebola fight.

The Quote: “Without a robust, independent press to ask questions and hold governments to account about how money is spent and how society should be rebuilt and sustained, the prospects for genuine socioeconomic development that benefits all seem dim,” says Sierra Leone radio journalist Mustapha Dumbuya.”

Committee to Protect Journalists

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