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The new disinformation and propaganda laboratory

Elections in sub-Saharan Africa resulted in a great deal of violence against journalists and the media by political actors and their supporters. This is what happened in Nigeria (ranked 112th in the 2024 World Press Freedom Index), where nearly 20 reporters were attacked in early 2023. In Madagascar (100th), ten were attacked by political activities during pre-election protests. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (123rd), where politicians often try to intimidate media personnel, the journalist Stanis Bujakera’s detention pending trial on a trumped-up charge prevented him from covering the run-up to the elections.

During elections, politicians also tried to use the media as instruments for exercising influence and imposing authority. This was seen in Senegal (94th), the DRC and Nigeria, where politicians have sometimes created their own media outlets.