MISA launches website; free content for media to celebrate 25 Yrs of Windhoek Declaration
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 audio-visual content on free media, free expression and access to information in sub-Saharan Africa is 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 videos can be accessed online for immediate use in the run up to, on or after WPFD May 3, at whk25.misa.org (selectWHK25 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. Zoé 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 organisations, 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 organisations 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 its long-term partner – DW Akademie (Germany’s leading organisation for international media development), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and fesmedia Africa – the Africa media project of (Germany’s) Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES).
MISA is a regional non-governmental organisation with members in 11 of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries. Officially launched in September 1992, MISA focuses primarily on the need to promote free, independent and pluralistic media, as envisaged in the 1991 Windhoek Declaration.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.