The Central African Republic: Media in a complex emergency

Media in the Central African Republic is faced with severe challenges in covering the developments of the country’s unfolding unrest. Security issues make it impossible for journalists to move around, and some have been targeted as a result of their reporting, says the IMS study “The Central African Republic: Media in a complex emergency”.

This briefing paper was commissioned by International Media Support (IMS) for the purposes of providing information to colleagues in both the humanitarian information and media support sectors, so that they may be better informed when devising and deciding on appropriate intervention strategies.

Research for the paper was conducted from late December 2013 through 10 January 2014 in the form of interviews and a consultation of reports.

The research finds that there is a clear need for both humanitarian information and communication and media support interventions in the CAR, with humanitarian information and communication support constituting the most immediate need. It is relevant and timely to provide assistance, however, the needs are so immense and the task so great that it will take significant coordination to ensure that projects pursued will address these needs together.

Many of the sources consulted for this study agree that the media will play, or needs to play, an important role in reconciliation efforts in the CAR. This must be taken into consideration for any media development or humanitarian information and communication efforts that may be undertaken in the shot and medium term.