Burundi: Independent radio journalists sidestep media blackout (Quartz Africa)

| August 10, 2015

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Young independent Burundian radio journalists have recently gone online to keep their listeners informed.

The government has been cracking down on independent radio stations since April, after political unrest led to a failed coup d’état. Since April, the country has been under a media blackout, with the government-run Radio Nationale being the only station allowed to officially broadcast on Burundian airwaves.

But, determined to keep their listeners informed, a group of journalists who call themselves SOS medias are now broadcasting independent reports via Soundcloud. Soundcloud is a platform which allows users to upload and share audio online.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a group member says: “Even if we could get into our studios, a lot of our equipment has been destroyed. [Soundcloud] allows us to continue to broadcast radio reports, using whatever recording devices we have.”

But the group’s Soundcloud broadcasts are limited in their reach. While Burundians can tune into local radio broadcasts with even the cheapest cell phones, few have the smart phones or Internet access needed to listen to the online reports.

To read the full story, go to: http://qz.com/436195/burundis-journalists-are-using-soundcloud-to-get-round-a-government-shutdown-of-independent-radio/

To listen to SOS medias’ online reports: https://soundcloud.com/sosmediasburundi

Photo: Journalists protest on World Press Freedom Day, Bujumbura, Burundi, May 3, 2015. Credit: Associated Press