Burundi once enjoyed a vibrant media scene, with many independent journalists and radio stations operating freely. Yet when President Pierre Nkurunziza announced his bid for a highly contested third term in office in April, it sparked mass protests. Since then, authorities and pro-government bodies have intimidated and arrested journalists.
The attempted coup d'etat in capital Bujumbura on May 13 was the tipping point for free media in Burundi. The offices of independent radio stations were firebombed for reporting information about the coup and fierce fighting broke out over control of the state media headquarters. Most of the offices remain shuttered to this day, and access to information has been suppressed in the weeks since, as rumors of a civil war run rampant throughout the city.
VICE News goes on a tour of media offices that have been firebombed, and visits the last standing independent newspaper in Bujumbura.