Tuesday, 26 April 2016

News Release: World Press Freedom Day 2016



40 journalists and media experts assess the state of media freedom and expression, access to information and media pluralism and diversity in sub-Saharan Africa. These articles are available for publication to all media at no charge.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) hereby advises all print, online and broadcasting media editors, as well as specialist media publications, newsletters and journalism initiatives, that a portfolio of over 40 quality articles and video content on free media, free expression and access to information in sub-Saharan Africa are available to them for print and online publication or broadcasting at no charge. The articles, written by journalists and media experts from West, East and Southern Africa, are being made available by MISA in order to celebrate the 25th anniversary of UNESCO’s 1991 Windhoek Declaration on an Independent and Pluralistic African Press. The UN proclaimed the date of adoption of this ground-breaking Declaration, May 3, as World Press Freedom Day (WPFD). The articles, accompanying pictures and short video messages can be accessed online for immediate use in the run up to, on or after WPFD May 3, at whk25.misa.org (select WHK25 MEDIA KIT). The articles are being made available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.    
The Regional Director of MISA, Ms. Zoe Titus, said from the organisation’s regional headquarters in Windhoek, Namibia: “MISA decided in consultation with a range of other African media freedom NGOs and experts to publish a special newspaper with broad popular appeal to general readers on WPFD this year, under the title of the African Free Press. We will distribute the newspaper on May 3 at various WPFD events across Africa in partnership with other media freedom organizations, but are also making the articles and audio-visual content accessible online on MISA’s website. In this way we hope to extend their reach as a public information service to citizens in Africa and to provide African media with a range of stimulating content from which to choose. However, any media, NGOs and other organizations in the world are also free to make use of any of this content and are not restricted to publishing these only on WPFD 2016.”

The two co-editors of the African Free Press, Jeanette Minnie and Hendrik Bussiek – both experts on media freedom challenges in sub-Saharan Africa – have commissioned articles on a wide range of topics pertinent to the African media environment  (see table below). Online editor, Kyle James, commissioned a series of video messages asking an important question: what do young people want from their media? Kyle also adapted the written articles for online publication. (Those versions are available on MISA’s website.) The articles and other Declaration-related information will be featured on various social media channels in the run-up to WPFD.

Throughout the project MISA was supported by it’s long-term partner - DW Akademie (Germany's leading organization for international media development,) the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), fesmedia Africa  - the Africa media project of (Germany’s) Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the Namibia Media Trust through The Namibian newspaper and WordPress Namibia.

See: www.MISA.org  and www.DW-Akademie.de.  

Ms. Zoe Titus
E:  zoe@misa.org
T: +264 61 232975
M: +264 81 128 3919

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