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Media practitioners and associations adopt new code of ethics

(MFWA/IFEX) - Accra, February 27, 2012 - Media practitioners and associations in Côte d'Ivoire on February 23, 2012 adopted a new Code of Ethics for journalists at a forum in Abidjan, the commercial capital.

The adoption of the Code marks an important milestone in an ongoing effort to improve professionalism and position the media as a key stakeholder in peace building, reconciliation and democracy in the country.

This new code has elaborate provisions on the duties and responsibilities of journalists, as well as a comprehensive set of articles on the rights and freedoms of journalists and the media. It is an improvement on the previous code, designed to meet the peculiarities of the country.

This development is an outcome of the first phase of a media sector reform project being undertaken by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in partnership with the Denmark-based International Media Support (IMS). The objective of the project is to strengthen the Ivorian media and to contribute more effectively and positively towards the country's peace building and democratization processes.

The President of the Union of Ivorian Journalists, Mam Camara, said after the adoption that: “What has happened today is an important development in the history of the Ivorian media, and given the importance of a professional media in our country's recovery process, this could not have happened at a better time. This is a major contribution to enhance professional journalism in Côte d'Ivoire, on the basis of which we as journalists will insist on and demand our rights and freedoms enshrined in our constitution.”

Camara thanked the MFWA and the IMS for the ongoing support to enhance media professionalism and freedoms in the country. Camara said the adoption of the new code signals the commitment of the Ivorian media to professionalism and the success of the first phase of the MFWA/IMS project.

The General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists' Association (GJA), Bright Blewu, presented a fraternal message from the GJA.

The MFWA/IMS project was conceived through two-separate meetings held in Accra in the middle of the post-election crisis in Côte d'Ivoire. Both meetings, organized by the MFWA and IMS, brought together leaders of the Ivorian media sector, media/human rights activists and representatives of some key West African media organizations, including the regional umbrella body of journalists – The West Africa Journalists' Association (WAJA).

The MFWA is a regional independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Accra. It was founded in 1997 to defend and promote the rights and freedom of the media and all forms of expression.

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