On 3 May 2015, MISA’s network of national chapters across southern Africa will join people around the world in celebrating World Press Freedom Day (WPFD).
See below for details of MISA activities around the region and contact your local MISA Chapter for more information on how to get involved.
As always, the highlight of MISA’s WPFD celebrations is the launch of its annual state of media freedom and free expression publication, entitled So This Is Democracy? Look out for its online launch on 3 May 2015.
MISA Botswana, in collaboration with all national media houses in Botswana, will commemorate World Press Freedom Day 2015 in style on Sunday, 3 May 2015. The programme commences with a video conference.
The main event is the launch of the 2015 edition of MISA’s state of media freedom and free expression publication, ‘So this is democracy?’ Statements from the MISA Regional Governing Council and UNESCO will also be read.
MISA Botswana has planned ball games and other team building activities for the media and well wishers for the latter part of the day. The event will be held at the Duma FM Grounds in Gaborone North from 09h00 to 15h00.
This year MISA-Malawi will celebrate World Press Freedom Day at the Grand Palace Hotel in Mzuzu on Saturday 2 May 2015. The celebrations will be held under the theme: ‘Let Journalism Thrive: Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality and Media Safety in the Digital Age,’to cast the spotlight on the challenges that are emerging for free and independent journalism, and quality reporting in the context of the digital age and includes issues of concentration of ownership, self-regulation, investigative journalism and the safety of journalists. The celebrations will include a freedom march, media debate and netball and football games. The much-anticipated Media Awards and Gala dinner takes place the same evening where MISA Malawi will be handing out awards in thirty separate categories.
MISA-Mozambique will celebrate the World Press Freedom Day 2015 by leading a coalition of six media organisations that together will hold a one-day conference in Maputo that will focus on the following topics:
- Quality of journalism and media ethics in Mozambique;
- The security environment for journalists and the protection of sources of information;
- Convergence of technology and the challenges of digital migration in Mozambique; and
- The role of women in media management; and
- Issues of ethics in the coverage of women and children’s issues.
In addition to this conference, MISA-Mozambique has lined up a number of other activities that will include:
- Three TV debates around issues of the media; and
- Two round tables to be held in Manica and Nampula provinces.
The overall programme draws inspiration from the UNESCO theme for this year’s commemorations, “Let Journalism Thrive! Towards Better Reporting, Gender Equality, & Media Safety in the Digital Age”. The local activities highlight three main points that are characteristic of the media landscape in Mozambique, namely:
- The challenges of better reporting in the national media;
- The digital migration process in Mozambique and the potential risk of exclusion of some parts of the population as the country misses the 17 June 2015 deadline; and
- Ethical issues involved in the coverage of women and children’s issues.
- The one-day conference will be held in Maputo, on 7th May and will be officiated by Prime Minister Carlos do Rosário.
Members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on the Media and Supreme Council of the Media and the Government Information Department will be in attendance, as well media academics, students and professionals.
In addition to MISA-Mozambique, organisations involved include:
- FORCOM (Forum of Community Radio Stations);
- Sekelekani (Centre for Communication Studies);
- CEC (Center for the Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication);
- AMCS (Mozambican Woman in Media Association);
- IREX (NGO responsible for implementation of USAID’s Mozambique Media Strengthening Programme); and
- RECAC (Network of journalists Reporting on Children and Human Rights Protection).
As the birth country of the Windhoek Declaration, Namibia will once again commemorate World Press Freedom Day through a number of events organised by a multi-stakeholder group including the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT), the National Commission for UNESCO, UNESCO Windhoek, the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN), the University of Namibia, MISA Namibia and the Editors Forum of Namibia (EFN).
MISA Namibia will host a workshop on Children’s Right to be Seen and Heard on 1 May. Flash mobs involving actors and posters will on 2 May raise awareness around the city on the importance of media freedom and the safety of journalist for a democracy.
On 5 May, MISA Namibia and the PoN’s Media Department will facilitate a workshop on Media Ethics in the Digital Age.
On 6 May, the official commemoration will be held at the PoN, featuring speakers from the MICT, United Nations, European Union, EFN and MISA Namibia. MISA’s annual publication So This Is Democracy? will also be launched. The event will be concluded with a panel discussion around the 2015 global theme.
MISA Swaziland will host the 2015 Judge John Manyarara Memorial Lecture on 3 May 2015, on behalf of the MISA Trust Funds Board. The lecture forms part of MISA Swaziland’s official World Press Freedom Day celebrations.
The primary purpose of the memorial lecture is to celebrate and advance Judge Manyarara’s intellectual legacy, specifically his work and commitment to media freedom and freedom of expression. Judge Manyarara was the founding Chairperson (1994-2000) of the MISA TFB. As the founding father of the institute, his leadership set the foundation of what MISA represents today; a media rights advocacy organisation whose footprints and voice spread across southern Africa and the rest of the world.
From 4 to 8 May 2015, MISA Swaziland will facilitate a week-long training programme for mainstream broadcast and print media journalist, as well as community-based media initiatives. The extensive training programme will cover a diverse range of topics aimed to improve journalist skills and overall reportage in Swaziland.
MISA Tanzania, in collaboration with a number of partners, will host a two-day conference on ‘Media Safety in the Digital Age: Better Reporting, Gender Equality & Privacy’ at the Nashera Hotel, Morogoro, on 2 and 3 May 2015. Whilst MISA Tanzania and its partners aim to focus their deliberations on the 2015 theme for World Press Freedom Day, it is expected that recent tabling of media related policies and legislation will take centre stage during the 2015 celebrations.
MISA Zambia, in collaboration with national partners, is planning a weeklong celebration to commemorate World Press Freedom Day 2015. Activities commence on 27 April 2015, with the Minister of Information’s television launch of World Press Freedom Day 2015. Mentorship and training on social media is scheduled for community media houses on 28 April, followed by a public exhibition by media houses. The public will have the opportunity to interact with media houses and media professionals during the exhibition and also be entertained by local cultural groups and disc jockeys.
Saturday, 2 May 2015, is the Media Sports Day where are variety of games and entertainment is planned. The main event is scheduled for 4 May 2015, when the official MISA and Unesco messages will be read and MISA’s state of the media report launched. 5 May 2015 is set aside for female professionals, with a formal programme focusing on opportunities and challenges faced by women in the media, relevant policy-related matters and training and mentorship opportunities for female journalists.
MISA Zimbabwe is facilitating a countrywide programme through its advocacy committees in Kwekwe, Gweru, Bulawayo, Gwanda, Victoria Falls, Masvingo, Mutare, Chinhoyi and Harare. Activities include public marches to raise awareness on the importance of media freedom, freedom of expression and access to information and the particular role that journalists play in facilitating the enjoyment of such rights. Panel discussions, hosted by the individual committees, will draw a wide range of discussants on the aforementioned issues.
The main event – a public discussion – takes place in Harare on 4 May 2015.