Dear Radio Télévision Ivoirienne

I am in France right now. Yes, the weather is really cold these days.

Because I wanted to watch the African Nation Cup, I subscribed to an offer from my internet provider to get Ivorian TV.

I kept on watching “La Première” (Côte d’Ivoire main national channel), until the news came up. I had totally stopped watching them a couple of years ago, because I thought it didn’t give any real information, it was just the President’s daily agenda, and a string of public declarations.

Well, as of today, it hasn’t changed so much. Here is how it went this evening:

23h30 –> 23h33 : African Nation Cup highlights
23h33 –> 23h50 : Laurent Gbagbo’s (the President) new year speech for diplomats
23h50 –> 23h55 : Charles Blé Goudé (Gbagbo’s Campaign Director) holds a speech denouncing fraud in the Election commission
23h55–> 23h58 : The Chief of Security, holds a speech of the troops
23h58–>23h59 : The road safety organization warns about deteriorating security on the roads

Just a few observations:

  • We are supposed to be a couple of weeks away from the elections. Interventions from political actors should be monitored. The TV airtime is not reserved for the FPI.
  • In the half hour show, the President and his camp had more than 22 minutes of TV time.
  • Nothing was said by any other political formation than the President’s. However, things were said against them.
  • Besides the football results, no facts were reported in this daily edition of the news.

I told you earlier, I don’t watch them everyday, far from that. I just hope it doesn’t go like that every single day. It’s some boring propaganda. Maybe if the national news system was not a presidential communication system, but rather an objective reporting tool, we could talk about freedom of speech in Côte d’Ivoire.

PS : I actually didn’t even get to see these matches, because none other than Orange can broadcast the matches here. What a shame!

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