In 2009, Anjan Sundaram began a journalist’s training program in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda. Often held up as a beacon of progress and modernity in Central Africa, the regime of President Paul Kagame—which took over after the 1994 genocide ravaged Rwanda’s population—has been given billions of dollars in Western aid. And yet, during Sundaram’s time there, almost every reporter he instructed was arrested or forced to leave the country, caught in a tightening web of strict media control.
With Bad News, Sundaram offers an incredible firsthand look at the rise of dictatorship and the fall of free speech, one that’s important to understand not just for its implications in Rwanda, but for any country threatened by demands to adopt a single way of thinking. An Amazon Best Book of January 2016: While Bad News is Anjan Sundaram’s telling of his experience running a journalist’s training program in Rwanda from 2009 to 2013, it isn’t overly heavy on journalism or activism, but rather brings the feeling of a suspense or thriller plot. Through excellent writing, Sundaram demonstrates the overwhelming presence of fear and control from the Rwandan government and the constant steps they take to prevent anyone from speaking out against their single way of thinking. This is very much a story of the power and need for freedom of expression wherever you are–whether in Africa or the United States. –Penny Mann
Find More Journalist