The African Media Leaders Forum in Addis Ababa last week ended on a weak note: Politicians want the media to generate a new, positive African narrative.
WASHINGTON, US: The International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) is seeking nominations for its 2013 Courage in Journalism Awards and Lifetime Achievement Award.
Authorities in Mauritius yesterday, 20 October 2011, imprisoned a journalist for contempt of the Supreme Court and levied two fines over coverage of a case, according to journalists and news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned the sentences.
The events and developments of the past six months in Africa have demonstrated that the rise of social media has not only revolutionised the business environment, but also redefined the political scene by shaking the foundation of dictatorship, lack of service delivery and corruption for the first time since the dawn of independences.
"African people - like me - are completely disillusioned with the performance of their leaders because of what they have done and what they are doing, and for me these people should not be called leaders, but rather the elite," Moeletsi Mbeki, brother of former South African president Thabo Mbeki and chairman of the SA Institute of International Affairs, said, speaking at the CNN-MultiChoice media forum currently taking place in Bryanston, Johannesburg, on Friday, 24 June 2011.
Yesterday, Tuesday, 3 May 2011, was the 20th anniversary of World Press Freedom Day, begun in Namibia as the Declaration of Windhoek, a statement of principles calling for a free, independent and pluralistic media throughout the world. Celebrations around the world were tempered with concerns about the erosion of press freedom and in South Africa, SANEF called on Government to review its proposed legislations that has seen SA downgrade from 'free press' to 'partly free'.
WASHINGTON: The number of people worldwide with access to free and independent media declined to its lowest level in over a decade, according a Freedom House study released yesterday, 2 May 2011. The report, Freedom of the Press 2011: A global survey of media independence, found that a number of key countries experienced significant declines, producing a global landscape in which only one in six people live in countries with a press that is designated Free.
As concern mounts over the fate of Anton Hammerl, a South African photographer missing in Libya alongside two US journalists and one Spanish photographer, the Presidency said yesterday, Wednesday, 20 April 2011, that President Jacob Zuma has been briefed on the attempts made by the SA mission in Libya to locate Hammerl. Reports from Washington DC also suggest that the White House is very concerned about their well-being and it is trying hard to assist them in any way it can.
The fundamental reason that many African governments ban and harass the media has more to do with personal connotations than other issues, Kenya's Henry Maina, director of Article 19 Eastern Africa, told delegates at the two-day Regulations and Rights media conference last week in Johannesburg.
There is some substantiated regulation of what the media can do and what it cannot do, but the balance must be struck between what the law has prescribed and freedom of expression, Prof Dario Milo, Wits University media law visiting professor and Webber & Wentzel partner, said last week in Johannesburg at the two-day Regulations and Rights media conference.
As governments across the African continent come under increasing pressure from critical media, 'vulture' ruling parties believe the only way to deal with this 'surrogate opposition' is to regulate it through statutory mechanisms that will eventually dent its wayward reporting. But some African voices of reason, such as Zambia's Fred M'membe, argue that the restriction of good media never produces good media.
Due to the lack of a strong and united political opposition, the media in Africa, at least those that are critical of government policies, becomes a powerful force called a surrogate opposition, Prof Tawana Kupe, dean of faculty of humanities at Wits University, said this week in Johannesburg.
Until 1992, journalists and editors in Ghana, and the independent media in general, have suffered a lot at the hands of undemocratic regimes, which cracked down on critical reporting and imposed strict restrictions limiting media freedom. As a new, liberal constitution was being written in 1992, media activists came out guns blazing, demanding that media suffering end and reporting become free. [view twitterfall]
As the independent media in Africa is engaged in a fierce battle against repressive and not-so-democratic governments keen to sweep their corrupt wrongdoings under the carpet, the issue of self-regulation has become almost like a daily bread in many parts of the continent. [view twitterfall]