In a previous post, Shanthi outlines the difficulties in measuring the impact of media development efforts.
The ethnic clashes that broke out after the announcement of Kenya’s Presidential election results have reportedly resulted in over 500 deaths and caused some 250.000 people to leave their homes and seek refuge in tribal homelands; some 3000 Kenyans crossed into neighboring Uganda looking for safety.
As post-election rioting spreads in Kenya, the Kenyan government has taken the step of suspending all live television and news reports. A media executive quoted by CNN opines that the decision to suspend broadcasts has set back the democratic process by 15 years.
The decision to censor media during times of violence in order to avoid inciting further violence is a controversial one, with both backers and detractors in development and post-conflict circles. Some argue that such censorship saves lives and is therefore a necessity that outweighs any negative ramifications for free speech; others argue that such decisions often prove short-sighted and may lead to additional rollbacks in civil rights and further democratic deterioration.
What do you think?