SOS Médias Burundi : Information – Solidarity – Collaboration
Media pluralism in Burundi ended on the 13th of May 2015 when the majority of private media outlets were forced to shut down. Journalists and presenters saw their newspapers and radios attacked, looted and even burned down; leaving them with no other choice but to stop productions. Threatened and forced out of their workplaces, most have fled the country or found other ways to hide and escape the violence. However, a few journalists remain and continue their work by disseminating information in the only manner possible; through social media sites. This is the case of SOS Médias Burundi.
The platform works with journalists based within the country who provide around the clock coverage of events and disseminate live information from the crisis through social media such as Twitter (37,000 followers), Facebook (51,500 subscribers) and SoundCloud (more than 250,000 views). Since spring 2015, the online outlet has produced and published hundreds of news articles, photos, videos and sound recordings.
While it was initiated by a small group of journalists, SOS Médias Burundi has since become a fully fledged media organisation and one of the rare sources of reliable information regarding the situation in Burundi.
SOS Médias Burundi will never stop pleading for a real opening of the media space and a return to plurality of independent media in Burundi. Its members are also dedicated to promoting the safety of journalists and ensuring that they can exercise their profession in complete serenity.