Friday, April 29, 2011

MISA celebrations in the rest of Southern Africa

Annually, on World Press Freedom Day, May 3, MISA launches its state of media freedom report, So This Is Democracy? throughout southern Africa.

MISA Botswana commenced their World Press Freedom Day programme with a symposium on Access to Information in April 2011.
The one-day symposium discussed the Draft Information Bill and particularly briefed Honourable Dumelang Saleshando who has been given the green light to present the Bill to Parliament at the July sitting. This activity formed the foundation of MISA Botswana’s access to information campaign, which continues into the World Press Freedom Day activities.
On May 3 MISA Botswana will publish the first of what is to become an annual publication, called “People are Talking”. The book captures views and opinion around the access to information debate in

MISA Botswana will also host the award ceremony, which is the last step in its essay competition, which was organised for primary, junior and senior secondary schools. Previous winners of the annual MISA Media Awards have been assigned to coordinate the project as part of their social responsibility.

The annual highlight of the World Press Freedom Day celebrations in Botswana are the annual marches, which are organised in the main towns, including Gaborone (capital), Francis Town, Maun and Ghanzi. Speeches by selected promoted members of the community ensure that press freedom issues reach a wider audience.

MISA Lesotho will commence its celebration with a public march to mark World Press Freedom Day. The day ends with a national seminar on the Media Policy in Lesotho which is expected to be adopted by the end of 2011.

MISA Malawi has organised debates and freedom marches in all the three regions of the country with the main event slated for the North on May 7.
Local celebrations started in the Southern Region on April 23, 2011, with a freedom march and public debate on the State of Freedom of Expression in Malawi. Panellists were drawn from civil society, academia, media and government.
MISA Malawi hosted the Central Region celebrations on April 30, with a focus on Access to Information and New Media: Opportunities and Challenges for Malawi.
I thought we could launch both the African Media Barometer (AMB) and MISA’s annual state of media freedom, So This Is Democracy? reports during the main celebrations on May 7.

MISA Mozambique is hosting a two-day conference on Access to Information in Mozambique. A detailed programme is available.

MISA Regional Secretariat and MISA Namibia are hosting the main World Press Freedom Day celebration in Windhoek, the seat of the Windhoek Declaration on Promoting an Independent and Pluralistic African Press. See announcement above.
MISA Swaziland has adopted the UNESCO theme: '21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers' for the WPFD next Tuesday. MISA Swaziland will host a panel discussion featuring five presentations by various speakers including one by MISA Swaziland who will be looking at Press Freedom in Swaziland: How Far have we come since the Windhoek Declaration 20 Years Ago and where are we going?
Two lecturers from the University of Swaziland (Dr Mxwell Mthembu and Ms Thandi Khumalo) will deliver papers on the impact of the social media on media consumers in Swaziland (Dr Mthembu) as well as the Digital Media as a Gender Challenge (Ms Khumalo). The Minister for Information will deliver the keynote address and MISA Swaziland expects her to speak about media self-regulation in Swaziland. This half-day event will be held at Mountain Inn Hotel, Mbabane, Swaziland.

MISA Tanzania will host a full-day advocacy workshop on May 3, 2011, during which it will launch MISA’s annual state of media freedom, So This Is Democracy?. This publication summarises the media freedom and free expression situation in the Southern African region, monitored by MISA in the previous year. MISA Tanzania will also launch the African Media Barometer (AMB) report which is currently the most comprehensive report of media situation in Tanzania

The workshop will include presentations to localize the overall World Press Freedom Day theme: 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers, by exploring issues on new frontiers of news media, a legal and regulatory perspectives, new barriers and new trend of journalism. MISA Tanzania will also circulate a special newsletter produced for World Press Freedom Day.
The celebrations will end with MISA Tanzania’s annual Media Awards, which recognizes excellence in journalism.

MISA Zambia will be hosting a two-day conference on May 2 and 3, 2011, on the global Unesco theme. A sub-theme is ‘Ethical reporting for a free and peaceful electoral process’ since Zambia will be going to the polls in September/October 2011.
Following this, Zambian media professionals will take to the streets in a march to mark World Press Freedom Day, 2011.

MISA Zimbabwe will commemorate World Press Freedom under the theme: Broadcasting Reforms on the Agenda- Free the Airwaves Now!
The chapter is convening a breakfast meeting with its members and other key media stakeholders to discuss the state of broadcasting in Zimbabwe and push for reforms in that sector before the next elections. Beatrice Mtetwa will be the guest speaker for the Harare event on 3 May 2011. Other commemorative events will be held outside Harare on the 7th of May 2010. Members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Media, Information and Communications will be the guest speakers during the provincial events.


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