Burundi journalists taking to Social media to keep their country folk updated


Burundians in Kenya hold a peaceful demonstration calling for peace in Burundi.

Following the Burundian authorities’ acts against the media such as burning down a radio station and banning other radio stations, some activist journalists in the country took to the internet to tell real stories from the East African country.

Burundians use their smart phones to access their country’s news on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp, a culture that came after the government’s harsh measures against the mainstream media.

The founder and main reporter of Facebook page, SOS Medias Burundi talked to Quartz’s journalist Julia steers sharing the story of how phones have played an important role in recording, reporting and sharing the news. The hand gadgets have been used in taking interviews, photos and videos to be shared online.

SOS media Burundi journalists put their lives on the line reporting covering the crisis in the country to keep Burundians at home and in exile informed on what is happening in the country for free, without pay. Burundians at home relay on the information to know about family members who have been arrested, disappeared or killed.

SOS Medias other than reporting on the crisis in the country they also give information on floods, traffic incidents and any other vital news.

The founders of SOS Medias Burundi took to social media after realizing there was a lot of misinformation online and offer verified news. The SOS Medias uses WhatsApp to host editorial meetings, issue assignments and verify information.

“We saw people were trusting so much in social media even as they’re consuming lies and rumor on social media, so we decided to put something in place where they already were. What you’ll get at SOS: no propaganda, no rumors, no support of opposition or government. We do our job,” says the founder of SOS Medias Burundi to Quartz

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