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WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY EVENTS IN AFRICA

Many of our African members will be in Maputo, Mozambique for official UNESCO events. The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA), the Media Foundation for West Africa, the Africa Free Media Foundation, Media Rights Agenda from Nigeria and the Africa Office of the International Federation of Journalists will all be speaking on the weighty theme of access to information and empowerment. See the programme here: http://tinyurl.com/5bktgv and read the resulting declaration here: http://tinyurl.com/6jaeyu

For the 14th consecutive year, MISA is unveiling its hefty annual report, "So this is Democracy? State of the Media in Southern Africa". Although findings have been kept under wraps, the outlook can't be good, owing in no small part to Zimbabwe's elections debacle. Read MISA's gloomy statement on World Press Freedom Day and download the report here: http://www.misa.org

Moussa Kaka must be freed, says the West African Journalists' Association (WAJA). The Niger correspondent for Radio France Internationale and Reporters Without Borders was arrested last September and charged with "complicity in a conspiracy against state authority" for his frequent contact with Tuareg rebels. So this World Press Freedom Day, WAJA is holding solidarity actions across West Africa with Kaka to mark his seventh month in prison. WAJA is also continuing its campaign to better the working conditions for reporters in the region, and get them officially recognised as "professional journalists". See: http://www.ujaowaja.org

Kenya's Media Institute is gathering more than 60 of the region's top heavyweights so they can get acquainted and then strike up an East Africa Editors Forum. "We intend to rally editors to the cause of press freedom, and embrace regular peer review," says David Makali, the director of the Media Institute and coordinator of the forum. Makali says the role of the media in the violence that followed Kenya's general election in December is definitely on the table for discussion. For details, contact: mediainst (@) wananchi (.) com

Other events:

- Gambia Press Union and "The Point" newspaper are holding a conference, "Journalists as Endangered Species", and launching "A Living Mirror", a book on the life and murder of prominent Gambian journalist Deyda Hydara, at Alliance Franco Gambienne in Banjul on 3 May. Contact: gpu (@) qanet (.) gm

- The Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR) is concentrating on access to information, which is still severely limited in Africa: http://tinyurl.com/4mpd4c

(updated 6 May 2008)

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