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With coup, #Mali generates noise on Twitter

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Evan Hill, an Al Jazeera English online producer, offered some direction for balanced coverage. "For news from #Mali follow @presidencemali and @martinvogl," he tweeted. Martin Vogl, a Bamako-based freelance journalist, was reporting for the BBC and other news outlets and became an authoritative source for international media. One of his tweets – "National radio and television in Mali have been cut. Soldiers have taken over the [state broadcaster] ORTM building" – was retweeted 71 times. Fabien Offner, another journalist on the ground, cast some doubt on the suggestion that soldiers were merely mutinying to demand better equipment to fight rebels. "In any case in Bamako, the military have apparently enough munitions for fun shooting in the air," he tweeted.

The military's seizure of state media drew apprehension about the intentions of the mutineers. "Black screen on ORTM....It brings about bad memories," tweeted Mariam Diaby. The station went off the air for a few hours before returning with musical programs. "While dramatic events unfold in Bamako, ORTM offers us all kinds of musical genres," tweeted Daouda Sangaré. Then an indication of an imminent announcement: "#Mali state tv back on air. Statement by 'soldiers' due soon, according to message on screen," tweeted Reuters journalist David Lewis

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