South African National Editor’s Forum

On March 9 & 10, 2011, Wits Journalism and the South African National Editor’s Forum hosted a conference on the rights, regulation and responsibilities of Africa’s media. This page will be updated with the latest audio, photographs and content from the conference, including the Wits Declaration, which was signed by delegates of the conference.

 REGULATIONS AND RIGHTS

A conference on the roles and responsibilities of Africa’s media
9 & 10 March 2011 | Professional Development Hub, Wits University

The “Wits Declaration” on Media Freedom and ResponsibilitiesMarch 2011,  Johannesburg At the Regulation and Rights Conference at the University of the Witwatersrand on March 9 and 10, participants from 21 African countries reaffirmed their belief in media freedom, the need to fight for access to information and their support for self-regulation in their industry.The conference was co-hosted by the SA National Editors’ Forum and Wits Journalism. Participants came from Botswana, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Zambia, Morocco, Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Cameroon, Gambia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Britain, Canada and South Africa.

The following “Wits Declaration” was adopted by acclamation:We, the journalists, media activists, academics, regulators and others concerned with media freedom from 21 African countries gathered at Wits University in Johannesburg on 9/10 March 2011, declare:

Our support for media self-regulation  as a means to enable and encourage good journalism and the free flow of information;

That we recognise the crucial importance of access to information to enable the free flow of information and empower citizens and governments alike;

That we strongly reaffirm our commitment to the responsibilities that come with this to ensure citizens have useful and accurate information to enable democracy to work;

Our commitment to promoting the highest ethical and professional standards among practitioners;

 That we call on African Union member states to live up to their obligations as enshrined in the African Charter and the Declaration of Principles of the AU Commission on Freedom of Expression.

Delegates from the conference who wish to add their signatures to the “Wits Declaration” can e-mail editor@journalism.co.za This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Please give your e-mail the subject line “WITS DECLARATION” and in the body add your name or the name of the organisation that you would like added to the list.This conference was supported by the British and Canadian High Commissions.

George Sarpong, Ghana

Nawaz Noorbut, Mauritius

Clement Daniels, Namibia

Isatou Graham, Gambia

Madi Ceesay, Gambia

Touria Prayag, Mauritius

Salma Said, Tanzania

Sibongile Sindane, SA

Ibrahim Afif, Seychelles

Khalfi Mustapha, Morocco

Thapelo Ndlovu, Botswana

Mpho Dibeela, Botswana

Godfrey Dilunka, Tanzania

Shaun Molokwane, SA

Prinola Govender, SA

David Themudo, Angola

William Bird, South Africa

Fernando Goncalves, Mozambique

Anthony Ngaiza, Tanzania

Ntsau Lekhetho, Lesotho

Kelvin X Lewis, Sierra Leone

Al Osman, Malawi

Femida Mehtar, SA

Ene Enonche, Nigeria

Teixeiro Candido, Angola        

Tessa Reed, SA

Iden Wetherell, Zimbabwse

Chris Mhike, Zimbabwe

Charles Ndi Cha, Cameroon

Franz Krüger, SA

Jackie Bischof, SA

Keynote speech by Justice Kate O’Regan: 
Speech and responsibility: Guidance from Article 19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights

Conference programme

Download the finalised version of the conference programme here.
 

Presentations and references

Reception speaking note
Dr. Nicola Brewer, High Commissioner of the British High Commission to South Africa 

Reception speaking note
Geoff White, Acting High Commissioner of the Canadian High Commission to South Africa 

Legal regulation of journalism
Prof. Dario Milo, Partner, Webber Wentzel; Visiting associate professor, Wits University

Transformation and democratization in the media
Prof. Tawana Kupe, Dean, Faculty of Humanities, Wits University

Right to Know: Access to Information in Canada
Mr. Gary Dickson, Q.C.Saskatchewan Information and Privacy Commissioner
 

References:

Kenya Media Act

Code of conduct for the practice of journalism in Kenya

Ghana National Media Policy

Information and Privacy Commissioners in Canada

Access to Information in Canada, resource list
 

More to come.
Audio from the conference

On its way!
Photographs from the conference

By Motsosi Moabi of the British High Commission

www.flickr.com/photos/ukinsouthafrica
In the news

O’Regan speaks on the finite limits of democracy – Jocoza
Confronted with the impact of politics, where should journalists begin? – Jocoza
The media ‘cannot, and should not, be complacent‘ – Mail & Guardian Online
Regulating SA’s media: lessons from abroad – Mail & Guardian Online
A clash of paradigms – Mail & Guardian Online
Journalists discuss role and responsibility of Africa’s media – Awoko
O’Regan stresses importance of media freedom – Eyewitness News
Former judge urges SA media to fight for media freedom – Eyewitness News
South Africa: talking about media freedom – Free African Media
Regulation, rights media conference kicks off at Wits – BizCommunity 
Right of access to information hampered by govts – media conference – BizCommunity
African media and the self-regulation dilemma – BizCommunity 
Media freedom, self-regulation, the Ghanaian experience – BizCommunity 
African media is surrogate opposition – Prof Tawana Kupe – BizCommunity
African politicians ban media to avoid criticism – BizCommunity
We need accurate reporting, not distortion – ANC – BizCommunity
Dario Milo: is legal sky a limit for journalists? – BizCommunity
What to do with critical media: to regulate or not to regulate? BizCommunity
ANC thinks citizen’s have ‘too much information’ – Business Day
Lessons fro the DPP spin doctors – The Daily Times (Malawi)

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