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WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY EVENTS IN AFRICA

For the 13th consecutive year, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) is unveiling its meaty annual report in Namibia, "So this is Democracy? State of the Media in Southern Africa". 2006 was "a year of hard knocks," MISA finds. While its alerts last year show an overall decrease in "conventional" media freedom violations - think physical attacks, arrests and detentions - in 11 southern African countries, criminal and civil defamation suits continued to rise. The Africa Media Barometer, an assessment tool in the southern African countries where MISA is active, also transmitted some bad news - none of the countries had a media landscape that rated as "predominantly free and independent". On this 3 May, with the media in Zimbabwe facing their "darkest hour", the outlook is bleak for 2007. Download the 270-page book here: http://www.misa.org

Fed up with the Swaziland government's decision to introduce statutory media regulation in the form of a Media Commission Bill, MISA, along with the Swaziland National Association of Journalists and the Editors Forum, is launching a self-regulatory framework on World Press Freedom Day. The self-imposed "Media Complaints Commission" should start attending to complaints within two months.

This year is the 50th anniversary of Ghana's independence, so this Press Freedom Day the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), along with four partner organisations, will host a whole week of festivities in Accra to reflect on "50 Years of Public Service Broadcasting & Governance". Besides panel discussions and workshops, activities include a street procession, a flag-raising ceremony and a day of tug-o-war, ping pong and other games to help foster good labour relations and promote workers' rights.
Email: [email protected]
Other IFEX member events:
- Statement by Journalist in Danger (Journaliste en danger, JED) on the alarming press freedom situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, email: [email protected]
Non-member events:
- The Zimbabwe group, Irish section of Amnesty International is producing an issue of "The Daily News in Exile": http://www.amnesty.ie
- The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) is asking the international community to urge the government to stop infringing on journalists' rights: http://www.nusoj.org/
(1 May 2007)

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