Following World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, Reporters Without Borders takes a look at the breaches of freedom of news and information in Nigeria during the first quarter of 2012, turning the spotlight on one of the most dangerous countries in Africa for journalists. For the first time, it has included the Islamist militia Boko Haram in its latest list of Predators of Freedom of Information.
Thousands of newspapers worldwide will commemorate World Press Freedom Day tomorrow, 3 May 2012, by publishing thoughtful editorial and provocative advertising materials from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). There is still time to join them.
Liberia Telecommunication Authority (LTA) consumer manager, Musue Haddad, has told students aspiring to become full-blooded media personnel to pursue their dream, notwithstanding the professional challenges.
The African Platform on Access to Information (APAI), an intercontinental initiative to promote access to information on the continent, took the campaign a step further in its address to the 51st session of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) on 15 April 2012 bemoaned the current state of access to information in Africa, citing the negative impact the glaring lack of information is having on the citizenry. This observation was made during the ongoing NGO Forum of the 51st Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) in the Gambian capital of Banjul.
The vice-chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Professor Otoo Ellis, is said to have 'reportedly described journalists as illiterates', and as a consequence of his impolite language, the Ashanti Regional branch of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) announced a boycott of activities of the university and have sustained the boycott until further notice.
African journalists in need of digital reporting skills have an opportunity to acquire them through the Intajour Fellowship Program which kicks off in September this year. This follows the call for applications for the fellowship programme by the International Academy of Journalism (IAJ) in Germany.
Africa is often perceived as being aggressive and unstable, with only the bad aspects highlighted. Many South Africans seem reluctant to get involved up north. Celia Collins is one of the few South Africans in this industry who understands media on the African continent. She gives insight into the state of play.
DUBAI, UAE: The 6th Dubai Lynx Awards, one of the premier awards celebrating creative excellence in MENA's advertising and communications industry, has received a total of 2037 entries from 17 countries.
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Friday, 27 January 2012, joined its African regional organisation, the Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), in calling on the Federal Government of Nigeria to protect journalists as the increased violence by Islamist group, Boko Haram, continues to claim lives of citizens and threatens to ignite a wider conflict.
CNN International and MultiChoice announced at the end of last week that the deadline for entries for the CNN MultiChoice African Journalist 2012 Awards have been extended to Wednesday, 22 February 2012, and the judging to take place in April this year.
There are currently 52 journalists imprisoned in Africa, in nine countries. More than half the jailed journalists are held in that scourge of media freedom - Eritrea. The most disturbing news to come out of CPJ's recent report on journalists behind bars, is that the trend of imprisoning journalists - often on trumped-up charges - has seen a sharp increase over the last decade.
NIAMEY, NIGER: The president of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, has become the first African head of state to endorse the Declaration of Table Mountain, which calls for repeal of criminal defamation and 'insult' laws and for putting press freedom higher on the agenda in Africa.
Bizcommunity.com has now expanded its operations into 16 new sectors and will soon venture into another 17, providing a whole new range of target audiences for advertisers. The most critical aspect of this is the quality of content and this is a formal invitation to you to become a recognised contributor on Bizcommunity.
Bizcommunity.com - South Africa's largest online B2B publisher - is set to grow even more with the introduction of 16 new content channels, with weekly newsletters, as from last week Tuesday, 20 September 2011.
A meeting of senior media gurus from five African countries, took place on Saturday 17 September 2011 at the Highway Africa Conference in Cape Town, South Africa, agreed to disagree on whether the media needs to be bed fellows with civil society to achieve either parts' objectives or not.
An unprecedented summit of African media conferences take place Friday 16 September to Monday 19 September 2011: Highway Africa, Pan African Conference on Access to Information, Digital Citizens' Indaba, the African Forum for Media Development, various editors' forum meetings, and workshops for African journalism educators.
TMKG, a specialist out of home media audit company in Nigeria, has won an award for the most outstanding media monitoring company in the outdoor media sector of the advertising industry at the annual 'Brand As King' Awards for its work on Billboard Magazine.
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.
Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the steadily worsening climate of harassment and intimidation that the Ethiopian authorities have imposed on the media, especially the private media.
Togolese authorities on 16 March 2011 closed down Radio Carré Jeunes, a community entertainment station, for an alleged "non-adherence to professional standards".
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.
Both Niger presidential election candidates announced their commitment to promote freedom of expression and review media legislation if elected. The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum have welcomed the endorsement by both Mahamadou Issoufou of the Social Democratic Party and Seini Oumarou of the National Movement for a Developing Society of the Declaration of Table Mountain.
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]
The Dag Hammarskjöld Scholarship Fund for Journalists is now accepting applications from professional journalists from developing countries for its 2011 Fellowship Program. The application deadline is 6 April 2011.