The media sector in the Central African Republic has been faced with severe challenges in covering the developments of the country's unfolding unrest, as journalists face tightened security measures and targeted attacks. In addition to the humanitarian crisis that has emerged since rebels seized power in 2013, this paper argues that an 'information crisis' has also developed, in which Central Africans have been 'living in complete darkness as they have no access to information.'
This briefing paper was commissioned by International Media Support (IMS) for the purpose 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 bothhumanitarian 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.