14 August 2013

Cote d'Ivoire: Pro-Opposition Newspaper Suspended for 26 Publications

The National Press Council (CNP), the statutory press regulatory body, has suspended the privately-owned pro-opposition newspaper, Le Quotidien d'Abidjan, for repeatedly breaching the laws and ethics governing the press.

According to its August 9, 2013 communiqué, the CNP has suspended the newspaper for 26 publications as punishment for consistently violating the law of December 2004 on the legal regime of the press.

"These breaches are unacceptable and in spite of series of summons and warnings, Le Qoutidien d'Abidjan, continued to publish articles which clearly violates the basic tenets of the profession," the communiqué read.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s monitor in the country reported that the suspension came after the newspaper admitted it was guilty of "repeated offences that violates the press laws."

According to the monitor, the newspaper had been cautioned a number of times about its unprofessional reportage. "In fact, the paper was recently banned from appearing for two-months and its managing editor, Allian Alliali, had his professional identity card withdrawn for unprofessional publication."

The MFWA urges the CNP to come up with training and sensitization activities to re-orient and enhance professionalism and knowledge within the Ivorian media. We make this call based on increasing trends of suspension-sanctions for media unprofessionalism by the CNP.

Considering the numerous media development issues and gaps in the country, we fear that these suspensions will eventually lead to self-censorship and gagging of the Ivorian media rather than mitigating unprofessionalism and related-practices.

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