Media Freedom and Development

Media Freedom and Development

The use of smartphones to conduct fast surveys on access to information in Zimbabwe.

In Zimbabwe, they are using smartphones to conduct fast surveys on access to information.

The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which expired in 2015, have contributed to the improvement of livelihoods of countless human beings all over the world. At the current stage of the international debate on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, headed by the United Nations, there is a clear understanding that openness, transparency, freedom of speech, the media and access to information need to form an essential part of successful future development initiatives.

As the secretariat to the African Platform on Access to Information (APAI) Declaration and the continental APAI campaign, MISA promotes the importance of access to information to the post 2015 development agenda and, where possible, analyses how access to information, freedom of expression and media freedom can be integrated in the new global objectives. The APAI Declaration clearly articulates a number of principles that speak to the central role that access to information plays in furthering a number of rights including gender equality, health and education, which are all crucial to development.

MISA addresses the freedom of the media and its development through monitoring and research. MISA Zimbabwe’s Media Monitoring and Research component entails monitoring and exposing abuses or violations of media freedom in Zimbabwe through the issuance of alert, statements and position papers on the state of the media in Zimbabwe. Alerts are a core component and are issued to sensitise society, policy makers and decision makers to take action against perpetrators of media violations as well as ensuring a legislative environment that fosters media freedom, freedom of expression and citizens’ right to access to information. Research focuses regional and international best practices on media freedom against the trend of violations as part of efforts to influence positive policy change based on the regional and international instruments that Zimbabwe is signatory to.