Dec 15 2008

Journalists and Politicians: an African perspective

Category: Uncategorized<ADMINNICENAME> @ 7:26 PM

Burundi’s most influential personality — an accomplished journalist — is running for president, highlighting the continuing allure of political office for African media leaders.
Alexis Sinduhije, whom I first met in 2000 in Bujumbura, is a talented and courageous radio journalist who has worked at his Radio Publique Africaine in one of the most difficult cities in the world to perform journalism. His run for president in a country long divided along ethnic lines is an inspired example of how partisan political journalism in Africa can easily lead to the pursuit by journalists of elected office.
In Ghana this fall, Kofi Coomson, the owner and publisher of the daily Ghanaian Chronicle, spoke with me at length about his tortured efforts to win a seat in his country’s Parliament. Like Sinduhije, Coomson is a former Nieman journalism fellow at Harvard University. After being disqualified by the ruling party to stand in a primary election, Coomson decided against contesting for a seat as an independent in Ghana’s December national elections.
Sinduhije continues to push for a place in Burundi’s elections, scheduled for 2010. Coomson, meanwhile, ponders whether to invest more heavily in his media properties – and leave politics to the politicians.

Comments are closed.