Maxence Melo of Tanzania did not set out to be a journalist.
In 2006, he launched a website called Jamii Forums to give young people a place to speak openly and to fight corruption.
But the effects of the website and the reaction of the Tanzanian government has been anything but simple. Melo has gone to court 137 times in the past three years, been arrested twice and spent 14 nights in jail.
"It's the price we pay for these kinds of...freedoms," he told VOA.
Last month, the Committee to Protect Journalists presented its International Press Freedom Award to Maxence Melo. He was among journalists from Brazil, India and Nicaragua who received the award.
上个月，保护记者委员会将其国际新闻自由奖授予了Maxence Melo。 他是来自巴西，印度和尼加拉瓜的记者之一。
Jamii Forums is mostly published in Swahili and has readers in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. It became famous in 2007 with a story about corruption in the Central Bank of Tanzania. Millions of dollars were missing from the bank.
Jamii论坛主要发表在斯瓦希里语，坦桑尼亚，肯尼亚和乌干达都有读者。 它在2007年因坦桑尼亚中央银行的腐败故事而闻名。 银行缺少数百万美元。
Melo said that was the first time he and the website felt pressured by Tanzanian officials. They wanted to know who was operating the site.
In 2008, the website published stories that uncovered corruption involving deals with power companies. The stories led to the resignation of the prime minister and the dismissal of the cabinet. Since then, Melo said, government officials watch him very closely.
2008年，该网站发布了一些报道，揭露了与电力公司交易有关的腐败现象。 这些故事导致总理辞职和内阁解雇。 梅洛说，此后，政府官员非常密切地监视他。
Melo said that government officials, members of parliament and opposition party members go to the website to communicate with its users. He said the anger he receives from those in power is not about misreporting the news; it is about reporting things officials do not like.
梅洛说，政府官员，国会议员和反对党成员都访问该网站与用户进行沟通。 他说，他从当权者那里得到的愤怒不是关于错误报道新闻。 这是关于报道官员不喜欢的事情。
No fake news
"No one's (making charges of) any kind of false information," Melo said. "We are being (attacked) for not cooperating...to reveal our sources of information."
The environment for Tanzanian media became even more dangerous in 2015 when the country enacted the CyberCrimes Act. The law makes it a crime to repeat information that is false, misleading or inaccurate. It has been used to bring legal actions against news websites like Jamii Forums.
2015年坦桑尼亚颁布《网络犯罪法案》时，坦桑尼亚媒体的环境变得更加危险。 法律将重复虚假，误导或不正确的信息定为犯罪。 它已被用于对Jamii论坛等新闻网站提起法律诉讼。
"It's not only used against journalists...it's used against critical voices. It's used against almost everyone," Melo said.
Additional laws have restricted journalists' ability to see governmental information, he said.
Fighting for press freedom
Still, Melo has decided to continue being a journalist in his home country.
"Tanzania has been a good example in Africa," he said. "We have been like ambassadors of change in Africa. And we have gone through this kind of challengingtime for almost five years of lots of challenges to journalists — to critical voices in Tanzania."
Maxence Melo has disputed parts of the Cyber Crimes Act in court without success, but says he is not giving up.
"We have room to challenge these laws. I know it comes at a huge price. As for me, I've tried my best," he said.
Words In This Story：
journalist– n.someone who reports news on television, radio, newspapers or the internet
cyber – adj.relating to the internet
inaccurate – adj.false, untrue or wrong
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